TDA Businesses monthly news and opportunities round up.
£20m fund to support creative industries in England
The Department for Business and DCMS have launched a £20 million fund to support culture and creative industries across England. The Cultural Development Fund, which will be managed by Arts Council England, will provide funding of up to £7 million for towns and cities to implement cultural, creative and heritage projects that support local regeneration and job creation. Expressions of interest will be accepted until 15 August 2018.
Helping small businesses to control their energy costs
Small and medium sized businesses across the hospitality and retail sectors such as high street cafés, restaurants and shops, as well as schools and colleges are set to benefit from new, innovative ideas aimed at reducing their energy use.
New hub to help smaller firms access finance
The British Business Bank has launched a new interactive website to help high-growth smaller firms understand their finance options. The website includes practical checklists, case studies and guidance to help them improve their readiness for investment, as well as a new Finance Finder tool to help firms explore different finance options. Overall, the website provides an overview of 17 different types of finance, including angel investment, venture capital and crowdfunding.
Funding for regional innovation projects
UK Research and Innovation has launched a new funding scheme for innovation projects that support regional economic growth and competitiveness. The first stage of the Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) competition will provide up to £50,000 in seedcorn funding for consortia of UK businesses and research organisations to develop proposals that use new research and innovation to grow the local economy. The SIPF will then provide up to £50 million per successful applicant for consortia to implement their projects. Initial seedcorn funding will be allocated between October 2018 and April 2019, while projects must start in June 2019.
Funding to develop next generation of services
Organisations can apply for a share of £12 million to transform accountancy, insurance and legal services, under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
UK retail sales record strong growth in May 2018
UK retail sales in May saw their highest growth since January 2014. The month saw a rebound for both the online sector and the high street, according to the latest Retail Sales Monitor report from the BRC (British Retail Consortium) compiled by KPMG.
Smaller firms lack export confidence
A new report from the Department for International Trade (DIT), which is based on a survey of firms with an annual turnover of more than £500,000, has revealed that smaller firms are significantly less likely to export than their larger counterparts. While 73% of smaller firms believe there is demand for British products and services overseas, they are least confident in their capacity and capability to export. The report has indicated that just 8% of small firms are aware of the DIT’s Exporting is GREAT website and 25% do not know where to get export help and support. In response to the findings, the DIT has announced plans to raise awareness of the support it offers smaller firms.
New fund to boost small business productivity
Innovate UK and the Department for Business have launched a new £8 million fund to improve the productivity of small businesses across England. The Business Basics Fund, which is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, will provide funding for projects that develop and trial ideas to encourage smaller firms to adopt technologies and business practices that improve their productivity. Funding will be awarded to private sector organisations that are collaborating with at least one public sector or not-for-profit partner. The first round of funding will award grants of up to £60,000 for proof of concept projects. The deadline for applications is 4 September 2018.
Greater flexibility for apprenticeship levy as transfers extended
Large employers will soon be able to transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship levy funds to multiple businesses, helping to boost the number of high-quality apprenticeships across the country.
If you’re interested in further advice on funding opportunities or events, locally or nationally, please contact us