A government backed £3 million fund to help start-up businesses has been launched in Birmingham.

Hub Launchpad aims to help more than 1,500 budding entrepreneurs at the city’s first digital manufacturing hub in the Custard Factory, by turning their ideas into viable enterprises.

West Bromwich-based housing association Accord Group is among the organisations who successfully tendered to run the scheme.

The first programme, which will see participants working with the latest technology, will be in 2014.

Jas Bains, chief executive of Accord Adventures, said: “We have a huge number of young people living in our houses.

“We’ve spent a lot of time and money over the last decade training people into areas that aren’t actively productive in terms of outcomes of jobs.

“We will be working in advanced manufacturing, the low carbon economy, open source – channeling initiatives into areas where we know there will be growth. And we are working with 30 schools in the city.”

In the West Midlands, entrepreneurs will receive support across two themes.

The first, on public service innovation, will focus services like health, care, education and neighbourhood management.

The second will be open source design and manufacturing, building on the global developments in this sector and on the region’s manufacturing history.

Accord has assets of £16 billion, employs 4,000 staff and turns over £140 million.