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SWLEP 2017 Annual Conference Review >>

14 November 2017

“Swindon and Wiltshire is the home of British innovation and science”, words from our Chairman John Mortimer as he addressed over 150 business leaders and partners at our inaugural Annual Conference at Alexandra House, Swindon on Thursday 5th October 2017. [Image 1]

Our conference opened with presentations from Chippenham based business DYMAG Performance Wheels and Devizes’ based Latchways, just two of the businesses which have directly benefitted from and experienced significant growth as a result of support from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).

We launched our 2017 Annual Report and took a ‘rear view mirror’ look over the last year, celebrating some of our successes of our business-led partnership, including:

  • The completion of our road infrastructure work in Malmesbury, supporting the expansion of high-value; highly-skilled engineering jobs at Dyson;
  • Delivery of the Greenbridge Roundabout as part of our investment in the New Eastern Villages development near Swindon;
  • Journey times along the A350 at Chippenham have been improved through a section of the Chippenham bypass being converted into a dual carriageway

There was lively Q&A Panel sessions with delegates asking questions of board members and partners about our strategic objectives, the most topical being Skills & Talent and Digital Capability. Wiltshire College principal Amanda Burnside acknowledged “huge issues in terms of skills” and the need to “grow our own” talent.

The conference culminated with the launch of a new website for the Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub. Since its launch in 2014, the hub has supported 537 existing businesses, 49 start-ups, and 52 pre-start-ups. Unveiling the new state of the art intelligent and interactive site, SWLEP’s Programme Manager Ian Durston described the Growth Hub as “a gateway to business support, and a place where people can get information about running a business.” Our Annual Conference concluded with a networking lunch and partners exhibition.

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Here’s what some of the delegates said that attended our conference:

“Great Event! Positive to hear all the things taking place in Swindon & Wiltshire”

“Inspiring to know how much resource LEP draw to our region!”

“Great conference, well done. Interesting reports and lovely lunch”

We are always keen to hear the voice of local businesses in taking forward the work we do. To get involved and play your part in growing our local economy, please email us info@swlep.co.uk.  

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SWLEP 2017 Annual Conference Review

SWLEP 2017 Annual Conference Review >>

14 November 2017

“Swindon and Wiltshire is the home of British innovation and science”, words from our Chairman John Mortimer as he addressed over 150 business leaders and partners at our inaugural Annual Conference at Alexandra House, Swindon on Thursday 5th October 2017. [Image 1]

Our conference opened with presentations from Chippenham based business DYMAG Performance Wheels and Devizes’ based Latchways, just two of the businesses which have directly benefitted from and experienced significant growth as a result of support from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).

We launched our 2017 Annual Report and took a ‘rear view mirror’ look over the last year, celebrating some of our successes of our business-led partnership, including:

  • The completion of our road infrastructure work in Malmesbury, supporting the expansion of high-value; highly-skilled engineering jobs at Dyson;
  • Delivery of the Greenbridge Roundabout as part of our investment in the New Eastern Villages development near Swindon;
  • Journey times along the A350 at Chippenham have been improved through a section of the Chippenham bypass being converted into a dual carriageway

There was lively Q&A Panel sessions with delegates asking questions of board members and partners about our strategic objectives, the most topical being Skills & Talent and Digital Capability. Wiltshire College principal Amanda Burnside acknowledged “huge issues in terms of skills” and the need to “grow our own” talent.

The conference culminated with the launch of a new website for the Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub. Since its launch in 2014, the hub has supported 537 existing businesses, 49 start-ups, and 52 pre-start-ups. Unveiling the new state of the art intelligent and interactive site, SWLEP’s Programme Manager Ian Durston described the Growth Hub as “a gateway to business support, and a place where people can get information about running a business.” Our Annual Conference concluded with a networking lunch and partners exhibition.

[Image 2]

Here’s what some of the delegates said that attended our conference:

“Great Event! Positive to hear all the things taking place in Swindon & Wiltshire”

“Inspiring to know how much resource LEP draw to our region!”

“Great conference, well done. Interesting reports and lovely lunch”

We are always keen to hear the voice of local businesses in taking forward the work we do. To get involved and play your part in growing our local economy, please email us info@swlep.co.uk.  

European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) 2017 Conference

European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) 2017 Conference >>

13 November 2017

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership is holding its European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) event for 2017. We will host this on the morning of Thursday 30th November at Lackham House, Chippenham in Wiltshire. 

Everyone is welcome to this public event to find out more about the European funding programme and the projects which are delivering change and helping to transform the area’s businesses and workforce.

At the event we will showcase some of the important investments in people and businesses made in our area from the 2014 - 2020 programmes to date. The event will provide insights and opportunities to hear from:

  • A range of projects that support local businesses and contribute to growth of innovative sectors and businesses in the area
  • Projects targeted to upskill local workforces, help people find work and promote social inclusion for people who have difficulties to get into employment
  • And hear from the new Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub, its offer to businesses and how it links to European Regional Development Fund projects.

We will also be tackling pressing topics such as future funding, the emergent Industrial Strategy in Swindon and Wiltshire, and current challenges to local sectors.

The morning event will run from 9.30am to include talks, seminars and project presentations and we will end with a networking lunch served from 12.30pm. 

Please follow the RSVP to confirm your attendance.

The event is produced by the Swindon and Wiltshire Technical Assistance project team.

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Fuelling International Relations

Fuelling International Relations >>

30 October 2017

Delegation from the China EV100 forum visited Swindon to see for themselves the opportunities for creating links for trade, investment, research and innovation.

South Western Railway Strike

South Western Railway Strike >>

30 October 2017

Industrial action planned by RMT union members working for South Western Railway 8 and 9 November 2017.

Could you be the South West FSB Small Business of the Year 2018?

Could you be the South West FSB Small Business of the Year 2018? >>

26 October 2017

The South West awards final will be held at Somerset County Cricket Ground, Taunton on 20th February 2018.

Development Opportunity for Managers in Swindon & Wiltshire

Development Opportunity for Managers in Swindon & Wiltshire >>

25 October 2017

Meeting the UK's £84 billion productivity challenge - Development opportunity for new managers in Swindon & Wiltshire

Ann Francke of the Chartered Management Institute recently reported that the "UK has a productivity problem, and under-qualified leaders are partly to blame."  This issue is costing the UK economy £84bn per year.

Jo Mills, Employer & Skills Broker at The Higher Futures Hub said:

"We are working closely with businesses to develop the leadership and management skills of the workforce in Swindon and Wiltshire. Strong leadership skills are needed at all levels of an organisation, not just at the very top - well trained managers can increase the productivity of an organisation significantly."

Higher Futures, in partnership with the University of South Wales, will be delivering an 8 day ILM accredited level 4 certificate in leadership and management. This programme starting on 27 November, compromises of Project Management, Leadership, Finance, Sales and Marketing  modules; providing managers with the tools they need to succeed.

This 8-day “Manager’s Toolkit” programme will equip managers with the tools they need to tackle leadership challenges they face in their roles. The programme will be experiential in nature and highly participative.  Delivered in four modules of two days each, it will develop skills across a range of disciplines, expanding knowledge and behaviours to support managers in effectively delivering their business strategy.

For more information about the programme click here or contact Jo directly on 07771 815706.

Regeneris Commissioned to Produce New Local Economic Assessment

Regeneris Commissioned to Produce New Local Economic Assessment >>

23 October 2017

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership has commissioned Regeneris to partner with us and our stakeholders to deliver a new Local Economic Assessment (LEA). The research is expected to conclude in early 2018.

Further information is available at: http://www.regeneris.co.uk/swlep-commission/ 

South West Rural Productivity Commission Publishes Findings

South West Rural Productivity Commission Publishes Findings >>

18 October 2017

Digital connectivity must be the priority for all rural areas as part of vital infrastructure to underpin growth. This is just one of the many important findings from the work of the South West Rural Productivity Commission.

The South West Rural Productivity Commission was set up to hear and review evidence from a range of sources and stakeholders to frame the south west responses to the Industrial Strategy. The commission collected evidence through an open call for written evidence from April to June, followed by five formal evidence hearings across four Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas: Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly, Dorset, Heart of the South West and Swindon & Wiltshire.

The commission found huge potential for economic growth if key opportunities are seized and challenges addressed. This new report shows examples of tangible projects that will deliver benefits throughout the community. 

The commission has looked at what sectors are involved, what opportunities there are for growth -  and what barriers are faced – including issues around housing, jobs, transport, skills and demographics.

The most important themes that emerged from the commission’s work are:

  • Digital connectivity presents a game changing opportunity but without further urgent action businesses and communities will become left behind
  • Smart technologies have the potential to create solutions to many of the challenges faced by rural areas and the development of an innovation platform on a regional scale has the ability to create higher value jobs
  • The rural SW hardworking and entrepreneurial culture, coupled with its stunning natural environment, with the right support, can become a hothouse of enterprise
  • Our agri-food-tourism economy is a strength upon which we can build globally recognised propositions as THE place to start, build and grow a food business
  • There are genuine concerns that our rural communities are spiralling downwards towards ‘fossilised retirement villages’ unless Government and local leaders take prompt action. Local and national policy must move away from the ‘one size fits all’ approach that fail to recognise that rural areas are different.
  • Brexit has the potential to shake the foundations of our rural economy – providing either a much needed boost or sudden economic shock. Now is the time for action if we are to reap the benefits in line with the commission’s recommendations.

The panel included:

  • 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.

Rural Definition:

  • The ‘spirit’ of the enquiry was 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

You can download the reports below:

SW Rural Commission Report

SW Rural Report Evidence

ERDF research infrastructure call event

ERDF research infrastructure call event >>

03 October 2017

Global competitiveness increases the need for businesses to research and develop new products and services, to increase their technological capabilities and to innovate processes.

Agenda and Board Papers 20 September 2017

Agenda and Board Papers 20 September 2017 >>

12 September 2017

The agenda and papers for the SWLEP Board Meeting to be held on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, starting at 9.30am, are now available by clicking here. Anyone wishing to submit questions to the SWLEP Board should do so in writing five days prior to the meeting via email to administration@swlep.co.uk.

Venue for meeting:  Committee Room 6, Civic Offices, Swindon Borough Council, Euclid Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH

 SWLEP announces new Board Members

SWLEP announces new Board Members >>

10 August 2017

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The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) has appointed five new members to its Board. The new members join the Board to support the SWLEP in driving economic growth and delivering on its ambitious Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) 2016-2026 to create wealth, jobs and new business opportunities in the area.

The new members are:

  • Col. Andrew Dawes, Joint Military Commander for UK operations across the South West and the Channel Islands- Standing Member

  • Air Cdre (Retd.) Doug Gale, MBE, Director Strategic Engagement (Air), QinetiQ plc

  • Alex Reed, Finance Director, Calalent Pharma Solutions

  • Mark Smith, Chief Executive Officer, WRc plc

  • Jonathan Webber, Chief Executive Officer, Callen Lenz Associates Limited

The new board members were recruited to broaden the scope of experience and expertise of the Board and to replace Members who were leaving due to changes in their circumstances.

Membership of the SWLEP Board is voluntary with its constitution allowing for up to 20 members of which a minimum of 70% have to come from the private sector.

The new members take up their roles on the Board with immediate effect.

SWLEP Annual Report 2017

SWLEP Annual Report 2017 >>

31 July 2017

The SWLEP Annual Report for 2017 is now ready to be viewed

Institute for Apprenticeships is looking for Route Panel Members

Institute for Apprenticeships is looking for Route Panel Members >>

25 July 2017

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The Institute for Apprenticeships launched on 1 April 2017 as an employer-led body ensuring high-quality apprenticeship standards and assessment plans in England. They are looking for people across fifteen occupational routes to join the Route Panels. Route Panel Members will form employer-led groups, helping to ensure the quality of apprenticeships. Route sectors include agriculture, business and admin, childcare and education, creative and design, catering and hospitality, construction, engineering and manufacture, health and science to name a few relevant to Defra.

 

The people on these groups will support the Institute’s commitment to be led by employers in the development and approval of apprenticeship standards and assessment plans. Deadline for applications is midday on Friday 4 August.

To apply or know more about the vacancy click here.

Agenda and Board papers for 19 July,  2017

Agenda and Board papers for 19 July, 2017 >>

12 July 2017

The agenda and papers for the SWLEP Board Meeting to be held on Wednesday, 19 July 2017, starting at 9.30am, are now available by clicking here. Anyone wishing to submit questions to the SWLEP Board should do so in writing five days prior to the meeting via email to administration@swlep.co.uk.

Venue for meeting:  Salisbury City Hall, Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 7TU on Wednesday, 19 July, 2017.

New  Work Wiltshire website launched

New Work Wiltshire website launched >>

12 July 2017

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  An all new Work Wiltshire website aimed at people including, employers, young people, parents/carers has been launched by  Wiltshire Council.  

 

New Work Wiltshire (www.workwiltshire.co.uk) will have vital employment and skills information all in one place. Along with young people it will also advise employers, those who are vulnerable, have complex needs or disabilities and people who require financial support.

 

The website is a result of engagement with partners including local schools, Carer Support Wiltshire and Community First to ensure the website provides the most up to date and relevant information for users.

 

The site will have generic information and links to other relevant websites and local support on 1:1 topics including:

 

  •        Young people’s next steps
  •        Apprenticeships
  •        Working in Wiltshire
  •         Information for employers
  •         Further and higher education
  •         Support for those with barriers to work
  •         Financial support
  •        Support for schools
  •        Programmes run by the Wiltshire Council’s Employment & Skills ServicePolicies and data
  •       Local projects

 

SWLEP launches £500,000 fund for  new workspaces in Swindon and Wiltshire

SWLEP launches £500,000 fund for new workspaces in Swindon and Wiltshire >>

10 July 2017

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Are you in the business of providing workspace and hot-desking facilities to start-ups and small businesses?  Would you be ready to grow your business by creating a new workspace facility for businesses in Swindon and Wiltshire? If yes, then the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) can help you with a grant.  

SWLEP fund for business workspaces

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership launches  a £ 500,000 fund to support the creation of new business   for start-ups and small businesses. The fund has been secured by the SWLEP from the European Regional Development Fund. (ERDF)

The SWLEP is seeking proposals from experienced and expert workspace providers to create one or more managed workspaces, with dedicated facilities for start-up and small businesses.

The need for workspace

The Swindon and Wiltshire area lacks suitable hot-desk, start-up and ‘grow-on’ workspace. Existing workspace centres are often full and tenants have difficulties finding appropriate new premises when they have outgrown incubator space. Workspace for start-ups and smaller businesses are not always commercially viable for many years, so this grant is looking to support the development and opening up of new facilities.

The open call to Business Workspace providers

If you are considering sending us your business proposal please include the below:

  • Show evidence of local demand and indicate the targeted tenant businesses by sector, size, type or other criteria based on the demand.
  • Describe how the form and function of the proposed workspace will improve prospects for tenant business growth. Suggestions would be to include how the building’s location, workspace layout, facilities and any other special features will support business growth.

  • Describe the quality of superfast broadband the workspace tenants will receive

  • Describe how any assistance offered to tenants will complement and not duplicate business support currently accessed through the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub

Make your application

To apply, go to gov.uk for information on how to make an application, deadlines and the overall application process.

The deadline for outline applications is Friday, 8 September 2017.

More from the open session on 19 July 2017

The SWLEP conducted an information session on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 to give interested businesses an insight into the grant and its application process. If you missed attending it please click here to download a copy of the presentation made at the session. 

Google's Digital Skills Workshop

Google's Digital Skills Workshop >>

27 June 2017

Date:  Tuesday,  25 July 2017

Time: 9:30 am - 1:45 pm

Venue: University Technology College, Bristol Street, Swindon. SN1 5ET

Lloyd's bank and Google are holding a free Digital Skills Workshop for SMEs and Charities to improve their Digital Skills. For further enquiries contact: -EllenTurner@Halifax.co.uk

To register and know more click here

SWLEP launches £1m GPIF loan for local business

SWLEP launches £1m GPIF loan for local business >>

22 June 2017

The SWLEP has  opened its call to the ‘Growing Places Infrastructure Fund (GPIF)’ to support infrastructure investment by local businesses. 

SWLEP Workshop- Developing international low carbon projects

SWLEP Workshop- Developing international low carbon projects >>

16 June 2017

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership would like to invite you to a workshop on Thursday, 29 June, 2017 on developing international low carbon projects.

South West Local Enterprise Partnerships set up Rural Productivity Commission

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

09 June 2017

The South West Rural Productivity Commission will gather evidence and look into issues affecting rural economic growth, productivity and prosperity. It has been established by four Local Enterprise Partnerships in south west England to ensure that their work and policies support rural economic growth. Evidence and experiences are invited from rural stakeholders and businesses.

SWLEP Breakfast @ South West Expo, Swindon

SWLEP Breakfast @ South West Expo, Swindon >>

07 June 2017

The SWLEP  breakfast @ the SW Expo, Swindon is back for the second year running. This year, close to 900 regional businesses are expected to attend the Expo with many of them beginning their day at our breakfast.  

Queen's Award for Enterprise 2017 announced

Queen's Award for Enterprise 2017 announced >>

23 May 2017

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.  

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