New Local Visitor Economy Partnerships
New Local Visitor Economy Partnerships are being created across England and this is an opportunity to have your say in how these organisations can best work in Somerset
The Heart of the South West LEP is working with regional destination organisations, local authorities and other key stakeholders and have appointed Tomorrow’s Tourism to support this project.
Local Visitor Economy Partnerships will deliver robust destination management and planning, to ensure all key public and private sector partners are well integrated into the development of the plan and its implementation.
Stage one involves gathering the thoughts and insight of key stakeholders to help shape the right process for Somerset.
Please complete the Local Visitor Economy Partnership survey which will take six to ten minutes depending on your organisation. There is also an option to receive further updates about the plans.
Somerset Sustainable Food and Farming Conference
Sustainable Food Somerset are working in partnership with Somerset Council to organise a Sustainable Food and Farming Conference with the aim of accelerating the transformation of the food and farming system across Somerset.
A wide range of topics are being considered and a programme created to:
- Attract an audience of people with diverse interests from across the food and farming system
- Achieve a significant scale of participation in each of the topics.
The conference aims to:
- Bring together stakeholders from across the food system to help build connections, create business opportunities
- Demonstrate the benefits of regeneratively grown food to local communities and how to get involved.
- Understand the most up to date thinking on regenerative agriculture and the benefit this brings to the whole food system.
- Understand how to increase the demand for locally sustainable grown food across Somerset.
A Planning Group is currently assessing the financial viability of the event and would be grateful for feedback on the conference prospectus:
Please feedback by completing the survey:
Rural England Prosperity Fund
The Rural England Prosperity Fund looks to provide grants ranging from £5,000 to £100,000 to support rural business and organisations.
The Rural Fund provides capital funding to:
- Support new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy
- Support new and improved community infrastructure, providing essential community services and assets for local people and businesses to benefit the local economy
These projects must be delivered and grant funding spent by the end of March 2024.
The REPF has very specific criteria set by Government. Therefore, the Economic Development team is urging businesses and organisations to carefully check eligibility on the website:
SWIG Finance Appointed as Smaller Loans Fund Manager for £200m South West Investment Fund
The £200m South West Investment Fund (SWIF) covers the entire South West region and provides loans from £25k to £2m and equity investment up to £5m to help a range of small and medium-sized businesses to start up, scale up or stay ahead.
The purpose of SWIF is to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunities for new and growing businesses across the South West. SWIF will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for South West smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and helping to break down barriers in access to finance.
SWIG Finance have been appointed to manage the Smaller Loans contract and will be providing loans from £25,000 up to £100,000, covering the whole South West.
Visit the SWIF website for more information:
Innovate UK Unlocking Potential Award
There should be no limits to success in innovation
Do you need support of funds to help get your innovative business off the ground?
Innovate UK is pleased to announce the launch of the Innovate UK Unlocking Potential Award.
This opportunity is designed to harness the power of diversity, whilst developing and delivering the talent and skills the UK needs. If you have an innovative business idea, Innovate UK want you to be part of it.
There are two levels of support: Begin and Build, which has been designed to cover different stages of a business journey. If you are an innovator with an early-stage business or are ready to make your innovative ideas a reality, you could win £15,000* and tailored support and mentoring (*£5,000 Grant and £10,000 Living allowance).
Are you an innovator with an established business? The only way is up with a chance to benefit from £50k of funding and a tailored support package to grow your business.
For more information, or to register your interest, please visit the Innovate UK website:
How to supply Somerset Council – Booking Fast!
Have you ever thought about supplying your local council?
Somerset Council is working with The Federation of Small Businesses and Somerset Chamber of Commerce to hold two events in September with the aim to demystify the process of supplying the new unified council and to highlight the types of opportunities available:
- Tuesday 12 September 10:00-12:00 at Deane House in Taunton (now fully booked)
- Thursday 21 September 14:00-16:00 at Yeovil Innovation Centre
By increasing the amount of local businesses Somerset Council uses as suppliers we can ensure that more investment stays within our local economy supporting our local business and therefore our local residents.
By attending one of these events you will have the opportunity to find out how things work, to get any questions answered and to raise awareness of your business with the Council Team.