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Queen's Award for Enterprise 2017 announced >>

23 May 2017

[Image 1] The Queen’s Award for Enterprise honouring outstanding contribution by UK businesses in the field of international trade, sustainable development, innovation and social mobility is now open to applications for its 2017 edition.  

The prestigious awards will be handed over to successful businesses at a private reception hosted by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace in July 2018. The awards are valid for five years and include several privileges- permission to fly The Queen’s Award flag at the winning business’ main office, use the royal emblem on the business’ marketing materials, a Grant of Appointment as a trusted supplier to the royal household and also a commemorative crystal bowl.

The application period for the awards closes midday, 1 September 2017 and the winning entries will be announced in March 2018. If your business would like to apply please click here to understand the eligibility criteria and the application process. For more information you can also email the Queen’s Awards Helpline on queensawards@beis.gov.uk or Telephone: 020 7215 6880 between Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

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Queen's Award for Enterprise 2017 announced

Queen's Award for Enterprise 2017 announced >>

23 May 2017

[Image 1] The Queen’s Award for Enterprise honouring outstanding contribution by UK businesses in the field of international trade, sustainable development, innovation and social mobility is now open to applications for its 2017 edition.  

The prestigious awards will be handed over to successful businesses at a private reception hosted by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace in July 2018. The awards are valid for five years and include several privileges- permission to fly The Queen’s Award flag at the winning business’ main office, use the royal emblem on the business’ marketing materials, a Grant of Appointment as a trusted supplier to the royal household and also a commemorative crystal bowl.

The application period for the awards closes midday, 1 September 2017 and the winning entries will be announced in March 2018. If your business would like to apply please click here to understand the eligibility criteria and the application process. For more information you can also email the Queen’s Awards Helpline on queensawards@beis.gov.uk or Telephone: 020 7215 6880 between Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Tomorrow's Meet the Candidates Meeting in Chippenham  cancelled

Tomorrow's Meet the Candidates Meeting in Chippenham cancelled >>

23 May 2017

Following a suspension on General election campaigning after the Manchester Terror Attack the Meet the Candidates Meeting in Chippenham, on Wednesday, 24 May, 2017 has been cancelled.

 

We regreat any inconvenience caused.

Agenda and Board papers for 25 May 2017

Agenda and Board papers for 25 May 2017 >>

18 May 2017

Agenda and Board papers for 25 May 2017

SWLEP Board is recruiting

SWLEP Board is recruiting >>

17 May 2017

Board Member Recruitment 2017

Business Breakfasts with General Election Candidates

Business Breakfasts with General Election Candidates >>

16 May 2017

Business Breakfasts with General Election Candidates

Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub Survey 2017

Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub Survey 2017 >>

21 April 2017

[Image 1] The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub provides small and medium businesses an avenue to access business support that would accelerate their growth and provide a strategic direction for their future. Support is provided online on the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub portal as the first point of call and for those who prefer to speak to an advisor a telephone service is also available. Some of the common areas of support include- accounting and tax, administration and legislature, sales and marketing, innovation and business problem solving and funding.  

 

An assessment of the business need or challenge is carried out by advisors on call and the business is signposted to the right provider for further support. During 2016/17, the Growth Hub supported 52 pre-starts, 49 start-ups, 537 existing businesses with business support services and a seminar programme and added 16.5 jobs to the economy. We recognise we can do a lot more to reach businesses with an enhanced service. The Growth Hub digital platform is currently being revamped to reflect the evolving needs of local businesses. In relation to this, we are collating views from businesses on the future changes they would like to see in the delivery of the Growth Hub service. The Growth Hub Survey takes approximately 3mins to complete and your views will go a long way to help the service improve. So please do take the survey!

South West Local Enterprise Partnerships set up Rural Productivity Commission

South West Local Enterprise Partnerships set up Rural Productivity Commission >>

19 April 2017

South West Local Enterprise Partnerships’ new Rural Productivity Commission seeks views from rural businesses.

 [Image 1] The South West Rural Productivity Commission has been established as a partnership by four LEPs in the South West of England: The Heart of the South West (HotSW LEP), Dorset LEP, Swindon & Wiltshire (SWLEP), Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly (CIoS LEP) to explore the issues around rural productivity and growth.

These south west LEPs recognise the importance of rural growth, productivity and prosperity being tackled alongside urban growth, to ensure that improvements impact on all parts of the economy.

The commission is set up to hear and review evidence from a range of sources and stakeholders, and aims to:

  • Frame the south west response to the Industrial Strategy and forthcoming DEFRA 25 year plans for ‘food, farming and fisheries’ and ‘environment’
  • Draw out the opportunities for the south west and individual LEPs to drive rural productivity improvements
  • Understand the wider economic functioning between rural and urban to identify opportunities to drive growth across the whole area
  • Secure Government support for specific initiatives in the 2017 autumn statement
  • Influence national and local policies where appropriate to improve rural productivity

 

The commission will report to the chairs of the four LEPs that have committed to the process, and it will be chaired by David Fursdon, Chair of the SW Rural and Farming Network and supported by nominated representatives from each LEP area.

The panel will include:

  • David Fursdon (Chair) – David runs a rural business in Mid-Devon and was previously a partner in a SW rural firm as a rural surveyor. He also chairs Beeswax Dyson Farming Ltd and the SW Rural and Farming Network and serves on the Board of the National Trust and the Duchy of Cornwall rural committee. Other previous relevant roles include President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA); Commissioner of the Crown Estate; English Heritage and Affordable Rural Housing Commission, Chair of SW Board for 2012 Olympics, chair of Future of Farming review and Member SWRDA Board.
  • Catherine Mead DL (Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) – Catherine is the CEO of Lynher Dairies Ltd, makers of Cornish Yarg.  Since joining the company 20 years ago, Catherine developed the business exponentially and 10 years ago acquired full ownership.  The business now exports all over the world and was awarded Regional Manufacturing Company of the Year in 2015 and Catherine was awarded the Women in business Award in 2011.  Prior to this, Catherine was a director of a London based advertising agency, with clients including the Home Office, Department of Transport and Department of Health.  She is Chair of Jamie Oliver’s 15 Cornwall, a Trustee of the Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund and Vice Chair of the Specialist Cheese Makers Association.
  • Luke Rake (Dorset) – Luke is the principal and Chief Executive of Kingston Maurward college (a specialist land based college). An Oxford educated zoologist, Luke’s career has held roles in both schools and colleges including 10 years as vice principal of Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.  Luke sits on the National Data Management Advisory Board for Further Education working with senior partners in Government bodies and until gaining his position at Kingston Maurward college was the senior convenor of the Landex National Curriculum Group.  In his spare time, Luke enjoys the great outdoors and was previously a member and training officer for the Longdown Mountain Rescue Team based on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.
  • Sarah Bryan (Heart of the South West) – Sarah is the Chief Executive of Exmoor National Park, responsible for overseeing the work of the National Park Authority, which exists to; conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of Exmoor, and promote opportunities for people to understand and enjoy its special qualities. Sarah has a degree in Environmental Science, a second degree in Landscape Design and is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute. She was brought up in Cornwall, loves the south west and has been involved in the development of policy and management of protected landscapes for over twenty years
  • Paul Redmore (Wiltshire) – Paul is currently the Farm Manager of the Neston Park Estate, a 600Ha mixed organic estate, with various rural commercial ventures including farm shop, restaurant, cheese/ice cream production, joinery and film sets!  Paul studied Agriculture at Seale Hayne Agricultural College and then worked on farms in Canada, New Zealand and Australia before returning to the UK.  He has worked on various farms and Estates across the South of England, including 6 years as Bicton College Farm Manager, where he also sat on the college Governing body.  He has sat on the Board of Directors of Organic Seed Producers Ltd and Organic Arable Marketing Group Ltd for 2 years. Paul has a strong interest in integrating new technologies into farming systems, practical on-farm research, rural start-ups and education and training young people for the rural economy.

 

The commission will collect and review evidence through the following process:

  • An open call for written evidence in April and May, – deadline extended to end of June,
  • Formal evidence hearings in June across the four LEP areas (dates 9, 20, 28 June; 6, 18 July)
  • Wider engagement and debate through social media throughout
  • Final report produced by the end of July

 

The call for evidence

You can submit written evidence directly to commission secretariat at emma.buckman@heartofswlep.co.uk or you can complete the following on-line form.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SWRPC_Call_for_Evidence

We welcome evidence from both businesses and stakeholders.  We are particularly interested in understanding the barriers and opportunities for growth from a business perspective and keen to hear examples of how particular barriers have constrained growth.

The Panel Hearings

The panel will also hear evidence in public through a series of panel sessions across the region in June and July.  The dates are as follows:

  • 9th June (Somerset)
  • 20th June (Devon)
  • 28th June (Cornwall & Isles of Scilly)
  • 6th July (Wiltshire)
  • 18th July (Dorset)

If you would like to present evidence in person to the panel, please complete this short on-line expression of interest form. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EOI-SWRural. As panel time will be limited, we cannot guarantee all interested parties will be able to present. The panel hearings will be open to the public.

If you would like to attend a panel session as on observer, please register at:

http://SWRuralProductivityCommission.eventbrite.com 

The commission is seeking evidence in relation to the following research questions:

  1. What does the economy look like in rural areas? (sectors, jobs, innovation, productivity, demography, housing, skills)
  2. What are the opportunities for growth/productivity improvements in rural areas?
  3. What are the barriers to growth/productivity improvements in rural areas?
  4. How does the rural economy interact with the urban economy and how can this be optimised? To what extent are market and coastal town providing a ‘hub’ for their rural hinterlands?
  5. What skills are needed in rural areas, do skills issues differ from urban areas?
  6. How do we ensure skills needs are met?
  7. What are the implications of Brexit for the rural economy?
  8. Is there evidence of innovative clusters in the rural economy? If so, how can these be identified, nurtured and replicated?
  9. Drawing on our experience of delivering rural support programmes in the SW, what sort of interventions have been successful and what sort of interventions proved less effective?
  10. What is the potential for businesses to ‘scale-up’ in the rural economy? How do Local Enterprise Partnerships and government bodies identify these businesses and support them to grow?
  11. Are there specific challenges for deeply rural areas and how can economies be supported in deeply rural areas?
  12. To what extent have rural areas been able to benefit from wider growth initiatives (e.g. Growth Deals, European funding etc.)
  13. Are there any other issues relating to rural growth/productivity that you would like to raise?

 

Scope and Definitions
The scope of the study is the rural areas of south west of England, in particular the following LEP areas which share issues in common.

  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Dorset
  • Heart of the SW
  • Swindon and Wiltshire

Whilst we are proactively seeking evidence relevant to these LEP areas, we welcome relevant national, regional and sub-regional evidence that address the study questions.

Rural Definition:
The ‘spirit’ of the enquiry is to explore ‘rural’ in its broadest sense to understand how the economy is functioning outside of the ‘principal urban areas’ of the region. We expect evidence to be qualitative and quantitative in nature and for partners to submit any evidence that they believe is pertinent to the enquiry. Should it be necessary to interrogate national data sources (e.g. ONS), the commission will use the ONS rural urban classification, which defines areas as rural if they are outside settlements with more than 10,000 resident population. More information about the rural-urban classification can be found here. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/591462/RUCOA_leaflet_Jan2017.pdf
However, we also recognise that rural/urban data is not always available at this small geographical scale and sometimes it is necessary to use the rural/urban local authority classification, which also considers some urban areas as Hub towns (with populations of between 10,000 and 30,000). These Hub towns have met statistical criteria to be considered hubs for services and businesses for a wider rural hinterland and their populations are therefore classified as effectively rural for the purposes of local authority classification.
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/591464/RUCLAD_leaflet_Jan2017.pdf

 

Picture Courtesy: www.visitwiltshire.co.uk

SWLEP submits consultation response to Industrial Strategy green paper

SWLEP submits consultation response to Industrial Strategy green paper >>

10 April 2017

The government released its green paper on Industrial Strategy on the 23 January, 2017 to seek feedback on its proposed approach to make the UK one of the best places in the world to innovate, do business and create jobs. [Image 1]
The SWLEP submitted its response to the Industrial Strategy consultation on 7 April 2017.  In addition, our response included six case studies highlighting where Swindon and Wiltshire can make the greatest contribution to delivering the vision of the Industrial Strategy.
To read  our response
click here

Making Business Greater- a Growth Hub event

Making Business Greater- a Growth Hub event >>

04 April 2017

Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub event for small business

The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub held its first event of the year ‘Making your Business Greater’ on Thursday, 23 March 2017 at Wellington Barn, Calne. The event was attended by close to 100 delegates from Swindon and Wiltshire’s small, medium and micro businesses seeking support to accelerate their future business plans.[Image 1]

The event was a great opportunity for local businesses to highlight challenges faced while doing business in the area and seek expert advice to resolve them. The issues that came to the fore include: sourcing qualified people for jobs, affordable office space to support expansion, lack of adequate communications infrastructure in rural areas, funding for future business growth and marketing support for small businesses. [Image 3]

[Image 4]                              

 The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub is part of the national network of Growth Hubs funded by central government to ensure business support is simple and easy to access for small business. In 2016 alone, the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub has reached close to 6,000 businesses locally catering to start-ups and small and medium businesses across all sectors particularly those demonstrating potential and having an honest appetite for higher growth.   

The main speaker at the event was Mark Miles, Managing Director, Render Media a local CGI and Virtual Reality Company, who gave the audience a roadmap of the company’s success despite facing challenges and how business support helped provide resolutions.                      [Image 2] 

The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub plans to organise a series of regular business events to continue to promote its agenda of business development among Swindon and Wiltshire’s many small businesses. If you missed the event but would like to get a sneak peek into the order of the day click on the links below:

Photos

Event video

Presentations

The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub can be accessed online on http://www.swindon.wiltshirebusinesshub.co.uk/ or businesses could call 01225 402096 to speak to a business advisor.

Agenda and Board papers for 22 March 2017

Agenda and Board papers for 22 March 2017 >>

14 March 2017

Agenda and Board papers for 22 March 2017

Making Business Greater- an event for SMEs

Making Business Greater- an event for SMEs >>

28 February 2017

Free event for small and medium businesses looking to grow.

SWLEP secures £28.1m local growth funding for key projects

SWLEP secures £28.1m local growth funding for key projects >>

23 February 2017

SWLEP secures £28.1m local growth funding for key projects

Higher Futures Insight Session - Sport leadership and management techniques for business

Higher Futures Insight Session - Sport leadership and management techniques for business >>

20 February 2017

Higher Futures Insight Session – Sport leadership and management techniques for business  

Entrepreneur's Exchange

Entrepreneur's Exchange >>

15 February 2017

Entrepreneurs Exchange is an initiative to support entrepreneurs right across the UK to grow their business  regionally, nationally, or internationally. Entrepreneurs Exchange is about entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs. On one day only, 2 March, in 10 locations across the UK, at 6pm, over 20 of the nation’s leading business founders are coming together to give free, real business advice to the next generation of the UK’s entrepreneurs.

Events are open to members of the public and are specifically aimed at those who have set up a business that they now wish to grow. Attendees will find out how established and successful entrepreneurs set up and grew their businesses, the challenges they have overcome to enable success, and the real advice they wish they had been given.

Entrepreneurs Exchange is collaboration between a group of the UK’s leading business founders, the government and HSBC.

 

To register for the event click here.

SWLEP hosts Rural Business Grants Event

SWLEP hosts Rural Business Grants Event >>

14 February 2017

Information session on £3.9m grants to rural business in Swindon and Wiltshire

Swindon & Wiltshire Women In Business Conference- 8th March, 2017

Swindon & Wiltshire Women In Business Conference- 8th March, 2017 >>

11 February 2017

Annual Conference for Women in Business 

Building our Industrial Strategy

Building our Industrial Strategy >>

03 February 2017

Give your views on the green paper on Industrial Strategy

Switch On to Swindon

Switch On to Swindon >>

03 February 2017

Swindon's own promotion initiative

£3.9m Rural Business Grants for Swindon and Wiltshire

£3.9m Rural Business Grants for Swindon and Wiltshire >>

26 January 2017

Rural Business Grants

Board meeting 25th January 2017- Agenda and Papers

Board meeting 25th January 2017- Agenda and Papers >>

18 January 2017

 Agenda and Papers for January 2017 Board meeting

 

 

Growth Deal three

Growth Deal three >>

16 December 2016

Update on the Local Growth Fund three allocation to the SWLEP

£5m fund for low carbon projects in Swindon and Wiltshire

£5m fund for low carbon projects in Swindon and Wiltshire >>

16 December 2016

 ESIF investment for low carbon projects in Swindon and Wiltshire businesses

Plans for a landmark museum and art gallery for Swindon are underway

Plans for a landmark museum and art gallery for Swindon are underway >>

15 December 2016

Plans for a landmark museum and art gallery for Swindon are underway

 

 

SWLEP floats tender for Digital Platform

SWLEP floats tender for Digital Platform >>

05 December 2016
SWLEP tender for Digital Platform
John Mortimer is SWLEP Board's new Chairman

John Mortimer is SWLEP Board's new Chairman >>

01 December 2016
John Mortimer appointed new Chairman of the SWLEP Board.