A BUSINESS support organisation working across Greater Manchester is celebrating its tenth birthday and aims to create thousands more jobs in the years to come.

GC Business Growth Hub says that during the last decade it has support more than 75,000 small and medium sized enterprises across Bury and the wider city-region.

Launched in 2011, the hub was the first of its kind in the UK and in the years since has inspired 38 similar organisations across England.

Director Janine Smith said: "We've evolved the Hub significantly over the last 10 years, expanding our range of services and support programmes, and looking at major national and international growth opportunities for the companies we work with.

"We are proud to have already helped so many Greater Manchester small and medium sized enterprises, and are now in a position to provide support for each of the 100,000 businesses in the city-region.

"The Hub has raised nearly £300million in finance offers for small and medium-sized businesses and I think we can strive for an additional £500million in the decade to come.

"Likewise, where we've created more than 13,000 jobs so far, we are looking to hit the 50,000 mark in the next 10 years."

One of the hub's more recent priorities have been helping businesses to embrace digital transformation and environmentally friendly practices, having helped firms in Greater Manchester save £500million in energy, material and waste costs, and two million tonnes of carbon.

Ms Smith said: "Green business is a major focus for us now and that will only grow in the future.

"We want to help more businesses to assess their carbon footprints and analyse the opportunities for growth in an emerging industry.

"We've commissioned research, established our own low carbon network for local business, and are consistently horizon scanning for opportunities.

"Likewise, digital transformation has been a major priority for businesses over the last two years, and we want to support them to go even further and fully embrace the spirit of innovation.

"We are also endeavouring to highlight opportunities in social enterprise, while being committed to ensuring that all growth is inclusive, sustainable and leaves no person or community behind."