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Somerset Business Newsletter – 29 September 2023

Business Newsletter

29 September 2023

Latest News

‘Go Green’ with Somerset Council’s Green Business Grants

graphic for businesses to get help to go green

Somerset Council is taking action to help businesses reduce their carbon emissions and save money. The ‘Go Green Scheme’ and a Somerset Green Business Grant Scheme are being introduced.

Launching this October, ‘Go Green’ will help eligible Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to understand their energy consumption and show how it can be reduced. The scheme offers free energy audits and support to develop individual, costed and prioritised sustainability plans.

For SMEs with sustainability plans in place, the Somerset Green Business Grant Scheme may provide financial assistance. Grants can be capital and/or revenue and fund up to 50% of total eligible project costs, with the remainder funded by the applicant. The grant scheme is now open for applications for activity and expenditure which must be completed by end of March 2024. The deadline for submission is 31 October.

Find out more

Bridgwater Town Deal Local Opportunity Showcase – 19 October

Bridgwater Town Hall photo

Bridgwater residents and businesses will be able to find out more about the opportunities and benefits that the £23.2million Bridgwater Town Deal investment will bring at a community-focused open event on Thursday 19 October, taking place from 2pm until 7pm at the Town Hall Theatre.

The free-of-charge event will comprise an exhibition space for each of the eleven local projects that make up the Bridgwater Town Deal, as well as providing an overview of this exciting initiative. It will give the local community an opportunity to meet the people behind the projects, ask any questions they may have, and share feedback with the teams driving these developments.

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Visit Somerset Autumn Conference – 30 October

Graphic image for Autumn Conference

Visit Somerset is to hold a major conference in Taunton raising important topics around how the Visitor Economy can help incentivise public transport usage, what attraction success stories there have been in 2023, and teasing out takeaways that marketing teams can use in 2024.

Members will be meeting at the Castle Hotel Taunton on Monday 30th October at 12pm for a light lunch, networking, and presentations to discuss, how to beat ‘the Cost of Living Crisis’ and how to create value for customers.  Along with senior managers from GWR Trains and First Bus/ Buses of Somerset, Visit Somerset will also be looking at ways to create a county-wide incentive scheme to help move more people traveling on public transport against the climate crisis and the need to reduce travel by car.

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Access to Finance SW Provides New Growth Opportunities

Businesses in Somerset can now get help accessing funding opportunities, as the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership has collaborated with Tech South West to launch a brand new Access to Finance SW platform.

From regular business meetups to ‘ask the expert’ sessions, any business can join free of charge, connect with and learn from other businesses and access a range of funding and finance expertise covering equity, non-dilutive funding, loans and debt, along with financial planning, and grant opportunities.

Find out more

Creative Enterprise Business Builder Grants

Graphic for Creative Enterprise Business Builder

Introducing…the Creative Enterprise Business Builder.  A grant initiative designed to support companies who work in moving image for storytelling, spanning film television, games, animation and immersive industries. With grants of up to £2,500, beneficiaries will be able to work with a consultant to build meaningful connections and create opportunities for business growth.

The grants can be used to subsidise the cost of working with an expert to support companies’ specific goals including business planning and strategy as well as offering other specialist expertise, knowledge or contacts. Examples include marketing strategy, monetisation of IP, international operation, and more.

Applications for Creative Enterprise Business Builder are now open:

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Would your Business Stay Afloat? Be Prepared For Floods

Photo of flooding in Somerset

Storms and flash floods can cause major disruption as some of our Somerset businesses and communities have experienced recently.  Are you sufficently prepared in case of a flooding event?

The Environment Agency’s guide to preparing your business for flooding, titled ‘Would your business stay afloat?, is a vital preparatory tool for all businesses due to the possibility of surface water flash flood events.

Businesses and communities may also learn from each other about preparing for emergencies and the next Somerset Be Prepared – Community Resilience Day will be held on 5 October, 10am-4pm at Wincanton Racecourse.

For more Somerset Council advice and information on flooding:

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Cyber Security & The Dark Web: What every business needs to know – 3 October

Cyber security graphic image

Cyber experts from across industry and government recently gathered together to discuss the increasing importance of cyber security at the Firepool Centre for Digital Innovation in Taunton which is due to launch in early 2024.

To find out more about help for small businesses with cyber security, you can now view the Small Business Guide for Cyber Security

Digital Somerset is also now offering a unique opportunity to delve into these topics and gain further insights from industry experts.

Are you curious about safeguarding your personal information and business data from cyber threats? Interested in exploring the realm of the Dark Web? Book your place now for this fascinating event on 3 October, 6pm – 8pm at The McMillan Theatre in Bridgwater.

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Developers and Agents in the Taunton and West Somerset area – Webinar 3 October

Are you are a developer or agent with an interest in the Somerset West area and developing 5,000sqm or 50+ houses?  If so, there are new requirements for Local Labour Agreements to help support local jobs and skills.  Somerset Council and CITB are holding a 1 hour webinar at 12 noon on Tues 3 October to provide further information on how this will work in practice for S106 obligations.

Find out more

Business Support

Looking for a Mentor to help with Growth and Scale-Up of your Business?

Could you benefit from fresh, experienced insight and a sounding board as you run and grow your business? What do you want to achieve?

  • Evaluate your goals and learn from successful business people
  • Gain confidence and skills
  • Overcome challenges
  • Up to 6 hrs of free mentoring over a 3-month period offered to businesses over 1 year old, with 2 or more employees
Find out more

Somerset Innovation Network – Offering 1-2-1 Business Support

Somerset Innovation Network graphic

The Somerset Innovation Network (SI-Net) is open to applications from forward-thinking businesses looking to grow, develop and collaborative with other innovators.

Run by Business West, the programme offers a mixture of tailored 1-2-1 support, informative business-focussed workshops and networking events, linking to the innovation centres of Somerset: iAero in Yeovil, the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre in Bridgwater and the brand new the Firepool Centre for Digital Innovation in Taunton (due to launch early 2024).

For more information on Aerospace and Advanced Engineering news read and sign up to the iAero Newsletter Autumn 2023.

Businesses in the Aerospace, Advanced Engineering, Low Carbon and Digital sectors are eligible for FREE support.

Find out more

Free Business Networking on World Mental Health Day – 10 October

Photograph of woman taking time out

Somerset Business Hub is hosting a free networking event in Shepton Mallet on World Mental Health Day, 10 October.

Businesses will have an opportunity to network, discuss prominent mental and wellbeing issues in the workplace and discover what support is available.  Guest speakers from Somerset Council, Mind in Somerset and Health Connections Mendip.

Two sessions are available to attend. For further details and to register :

The event focuses on the health and mental wellbeing support and training in Somerset and how this can benefit your business.

Employment and Skills

Ready to upskill your staff?  Get Bespoke Training up to 90% Funded

Are you a business or organisation in Somerset looking to upskill your workforce? If so, Skills Bootcamps can offer training tailored to your needs and location.  Skills Bootcamps can provide from 60 hours up to 16 weeks of training to people aged 19+.

Priority sectors include:  Digital, Construction, Technical, Hospitality, Retail, Care, HGV, Green

Not on the list?  We may still be able to help, so please do get in touch.

If you are interested in finding out more please email mailto:skillsbootcamps@somerset.gov.uk 

Business events

Dates for your diary calendar icon

Find out more information about events happening all around Somerset, delivering a variety of workshops, training and development opportunities

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