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Airbus opens Barnwell House

Barnwell House has been officially opened by Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier, signifying the beginning of an exciting future for Airbus in Filton.

The state-of-the-art building, which forms part of the £70 million Airbus Aerospace Park, will house over 2000 engineers and serve as a hub for engineering excellence within the UK.

Commenting on the opening, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I have seen for myself the work of technical experts in Filton who are working hard to ensure we remain the world’s preferred supplier and continue to build and design the planes of the future – lighter, quieter, faster, and more fuel efficient.”


Severnside attracts retailer Farmfoods

Retail food chain Farmfoods has chosen Central Park in Severnside as the location for a new 175,000 sq ft temperature controlled distribution centre.

Farmfoods will be the second logistics operator at the 600 acre Central Park, joining pallet distribution company CHEP UK.  Completion on the new facility is expected towards the end of the year.  Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area is the largest brownfield site in Europe. Read more here.

Got a Business Idea?

Business West is working in partnership with Virgin StartUp to help young entrepreneurs in the South West get started. Their 'Got a Business Idea?' campaign invites young people in the area to submit their business idea via their website by the end of March to get help starting their business with a Virgin StartUp loan and mentor. The campaign is running across local media including Bristol Evening Post, Bath Chronicle and Western Morning News, and through social channels. If you have an idea or know someone who needs a boost to get going visit for full details.



£10m to help businesses grow

A second round of the WE LEP’s Growth Fund is now open for applications.

The first round of funding has seen around £15 million allocated to nearly 150 West of England businesses, which has attracted more than £52 million of private sector investment.

Applications are now being accepted for funding from £10,000 to £80,000 to support new activities that will lead to business growth and job creation. Business must apply by April 30th 2014. To find out more, click here.


Phineas Group opens new South Bristol premises with £100k grant

Phineas Group International Ltd, has opened the doors to its new global headquarters in Hengrove this week, with an official unveiling by Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson.

Phineas is an already well-established and highly successful international business, supplying more than 60 million plastic shoe hangers every year, which are sold across Asia, America and Europe.

MD, Dan Wright, said: “We have a growing demand in Europe and Bristol is a great city to base ourselves in. The £100,000 from the West of England Growth Fund has enabled us to invest in new premises and equipment in South Bristol.” Find out more here.



Bristol & Bath’s Cannes do attitude

The Bristol and Bath region is set to benefit from increased levels of inward investment and a firm place on the world stage, following a successful delegation to MIPIM, the international property event in Cannes, France, last week.

Invest Bristol & Bath showcased the region’s substantial development opportunities and over the course of the four day event, they had more than 50 meetings with investors and developers and around 500 visitors to the stand, which was modelled on Bristol’s new Engine Shed.

Read more here.


Silicon Gorge for start-ups

27 web and tech start-up businesses from the West of England will be showcased to an audience of angel and institutional investors from London and beyond at Engine Shed on March 26th.

The Silicon Gorge pitching event has been organised by SETsquared, WebStart Bristol, Invest Bristol & Bath and Bath SPARK Network.

The start-ups have been selected following an application process, and they will be pitching for investment of between £50k-£500k.



WE LEP appoints new Skills Director

Adam Powell has joined the WE LEP as Director of Skills, after eight years working for Bath Spa University, where he managed a £5 million employability enhancement project and oversaw a year-on-year improvement in graduate destinations, with most recently 95% of graduates in jobs or further study within six months of graduating.

Adam will be responsible for leading the LEP Skills team in the delivery their vision to develop a well-educated and well-motivated workforce that meets business needs now and in the future.

#pledge2inspire apprenticeship campaign launched

There are currently more than 1,000 apprenticeships on offer in the West of England and 6,000 young people aged 16-24 started an apprenticeship in 2012/13.

To encourage more local businesses to support young people and help reduce the skills gap, the WE LEP has launched a ‘pledge2inspire’ campaign.

Businesses are being encouraged to make a pledge, which can range from hiring an apprentice to organising work shadowing or becoming a business buddy.

Companies can visit the WE LEP website to make their pledge or tweet it with the hashtag #pledge2inspire.


North Somerset Jobs Fair

North Somerset Council are once again hosting the popular Jobs Fair at the Winter Gardens in Weston-super-Mare on March 25th.

There will be 38 stands with employers from all sectors and a range of organisations providing advice and support. This will be a fantastic opportunity to meet with many types of businesses, to apply for vacancies and find out about the skills an employer would look for.

Last year's event proved to be very popular with almost 1,000 people visiting, some of whom were successfully interviewed for jobs on the day.

Find out more here.







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The LEP is working hard to ensure skills match employers' needs
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