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Somerset Council – Business News Letter – June 2024

Somerset Council


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10 June 2024

Latest News

Agratas battery facility: register for supply chain opportunities.

Agratas render

Agratas, the company building a battery cell manufacturing facility in Somerset, is inviting expressions of interest from businesses interested in supply chain opportunities.

Construction of the facility on the Gravity Enterprise Zone site in Puriton, near Bridgwater, is expected to start this summer and Somerset Council is working with Agratas and This Is Gravity Limited to make sure the Somerset economy and business community are well-placed to make the most of the opportunities the project will present.

Complete the form below to register your interest in supply chain opportunities. This information will be passed on to Agratas’s primary Tier 1 contractor for consideration as the project progresses.

Anyone completing the form will be advised when the contractor has been selected.

Find out more

Are you seeking funding for an apprentice in your business?

Co-op Levy Share

Suez Recycling and Recovery UK are piloting an opportunity for local businesses based in Somerset. As a large company, SUEZ are a levy payer however they don’t use all their levy every year. Therefore, SUEZ are directing their levy share to supporting green skills, but this may expand depending on what matches occur.

This is a great opportunity for local businesses to sign up to the Co-op Levy Share website, as even if they are not a match for what SUEZ want to focus their shared levy on, once they are on the website there are opportunities for them to be matched up with other levy donating organisations.

Find out more

There is still time for rural businesses to apply for a new round of funding

Brickells Ice Cream Van

Following a successful first round of funding last year Somerset Council is encouraging businesses and organisations to find out if they are eligible for a grant from the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF).

The second round is now open and Somerset Council have allocated £2.5m which must be spent by the end of March 2025. Projects can apply for grants between £5,000 and £100,000 as long as they are able to meet the outputs and objectives of the programme and can provide match funding.

For businesses interested in applying, the REPF has very specific criteria. Therefore, Somerset Council’s Economic Development team is urging businesses and organisations to carefully check eligibility on their website 

The next rounds close 12 July and 9 August, to discuss a potential project, applicants should email REPF@somerset.gov.uk in the first instance.

Find out more

Take part in the Tech South West Annual Survey

Tech South West

The Tech South West Annual Survey helps us understand challenges and priorities across the sector, shaping our plans to best support the tech ecosystem. The findings will contribute to a mini snapshot report on the state of the sector in 2024, which will be shared with all participants. You’ll also have the chance to win two free tickets to the Tech South West Awards 2024.

Find out more

Welcome to Firepool Centre for Digital Innovation

FCDI meeting room

Situated opposite Taunton Railway Station, the £11m centre will help drive innovation-led growth in the digital and data sectors. The Centre offers private offices, co-working, and event space over four floors.

The bright, modern event space can accommodate up to 80 delegates and boasts a 130 inch screen with full audio solution. Hot desks area also available on a pay-as-you-go basis, priced at £18 per day. Please email FCDI for all enquiries and bookings fcdi@somerset.gov.uk.   

The first tenants are due to arrive this month and include a digital transformation consultancy, an Ed-Tech company, and a cloud-based accountancy firm with specialisms in digital carbon accounting.

Find out more

Sign up to Somerset Innovation Network events now!

Somerset Innovation Network

The Somerset Innovation Network is funded by Somerset Council to drive innovation and collaboration to forward-thinking, and growth-driven businesses in the region.

This summer Somerset Innovation Network has set up 3 fully-funded online workshops to support businesses to thrive:

Cost Reduction through Sustainability – 

Get Grant Ready – Wednesday, 19 June, 12noon – 2pm
Book a place

Market Strategy – Wednesday, 3 July, 10am – 2pm
Book a place

Somerset and Devon win funding towards the future of flight


There is exciting news for the South West’s booming aerospace sector as £236,000 of funding has been secured to create a Future Flight Innovation Zone (FFIZ) in Somerset and Devon. The FFIZ will help to create a safe and environmentally friendly future for aviation and it will form part of a Future Aviation Test and Innovation Zone that is focussed around two key sites; iAero in Yeovil and Exeter Airport.

The funding that has been won will deliver:

  • A dedicated Sand Box with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which will allow up to 4 companies to seek support from the CAA Innovation Team to work through what they will need to do to enable certification for the testing and demonstration of their product
  • Specific CAA Innovation Advisor time to work with FFIZ to help further develop its activities
  • Funding for Future Flight Testing infrastructure to enable testing and demonstration
Find out more

Employment and Skills

Find out more about the free Community Employment Hubs

Community Employment Hubs

Community Employment Hubs are a free employment support service covering Taunton, West Somerset, Wellington, Bridgwater and Burnham-on-Sea.

A friendly team of support officers and volunteers offer impartial and bespoke support into employment. Support includes:

  • Guidance on opportunities for learning, training and work
  • Confidence building and enhancing skills to return to work
  • Help with job searching, job applications, covering letter, CVs and interview skills
  • Referral for further support to the right support organisations based on your needs
  • Regular one-to-one support

Volunteering opportunities are available in Minehead, Williton, Wellington, Bridgwater and Burnham.

Find out more

Wells Careers Fair set to connect job seekers with employers

Wells Careers Fair

The second Jobs & Careers Fair in Wells will take place on 19 September at the Swan Hotel from 10am to 2pm. The event will connect job seekers with local and regional employers, providing valuable networking and career development opportunities.

In addition to exhibitors showcasing current job openings, the Jobs & Careers Fair will feature industry talks and CV surgeries. These sessions will give attendees the chance to learn about different industries and improve their application materials.

Businesses interested in exhibiting at the event can sign up through the Wells Business Forum website. Job seekers are encouraged to pre-register, although attendance is open to the public.

Find out more

SBA events aim to support businesses and individuals to succeed

SBA logo

SBA are a Community Interest Company (CIC) providing practical support to enable businesses and individuals to create their own long-term success. Please see below for some of their forthcoming courses.

  • Managing your own mental health and wellbeing – Thursday 13 June – 11am to 12noon (online). Book a place.
  • Business Start Up course – Tuesday 25 June, Tuesday 2 July and Tuesday 9 July (3 sessions total) – 10am to 1pm (delivered online). Book a place
  • Gain Advantage Programme (GAP) is a fully funded programme designed to assist individuals with a plan on finding the right job.  This includes a free personality profile session, 1:1 mentoring support and access to free webinars, designed to improve your confidence around getting a job. Register for the programme

Business Events

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We have selected a handful of events to feature but please be sure to check the Somerset Chamber website and Federation of Small Business website for other events.

Contact the Team

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Do you have an Economic Development enquiry? Get in touch with the Somerset Economic Development team:

Get in Touch
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