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April 2015


New board members to join the West of England LEP
The WofE LEP is in the process of recruiting new business members onto the LEP board. All business members, including Colin Skellett, agreed that the general election provided a good opportunity to refresh the existing membership and have therefore gone out to the business community to encourage new applicants to come forward. Applications closed on 20 April and the new Board membership will be announced in June. more

Local Growth Fund analysis
West of England is top of the list in terms of pounds received per head on Local Growth Fund allocations, according to Research carried out by Regeneris, the economics research and analysis company. For more details and to view an interactive chart showing total allocations for Round 1 and 2 combined, click here

Bristol takes the world stage as leading sustainable city
Mayor George Ferguson attended the Local Government for Sustainability World Congress in Seoul, South Korea where he gave a speech on Bristol’s environmental achievements and ambitions to become an exemplar sustainable city.  The event brings together world cities to discuss sustainable solutions in the build up to the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris at the end of the year. more

Venturefest Bristol and Bath 2015 takes place at The Engine Shed + Passenger Shed in Bristol on 9 June 2015 
Venturefest showcases innovation and investment opportunities in Bristol and Bath and will have a particular focus on the role of innovation in sustainability and green technology, as Bristol celebrates its year as European Green Capital. This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators to connect with investors and thought leaders. 

Register now to gain access to established global companies, investors, academics, inventors and entrepreneurs as well as some of the most innovative and enterprising SMEs. Start-ups and new businesses looking for investment can book a place at the Start-Up Village or Investor Showcase. more 


New Funding Secured for the Rural West of England
Communities and businesses in the rural parts of North Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire will benefit from £1.56m of Government and European Union funding over the next 5 years. 

The programme seeks to improve quality of life in rural areas by linking the rural economy with locally devised actions - a Local Action Group will be set up to oversee applications. more

South Gloucestershire chosen as site for Rolls Royce Composite Technology Hub
Rolls Royce has announced that South Gloucestershire will be the location for a centre of advanced fan system composite technology development, creating a hub of composite knowledge in the UK and securing 120 jobs by the end of 2019. more

North Somerset Food Enterprise Zone
Following a successful bid supported by the WofE LEP, North Somerset Council has been awarded £50,000 by the Defra to support the creation of a Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ). 

The FEZ will help attract investment and unlock the potential of local food and farming businesses which include Butcombe Brewery, Yeo Valley and Thatchers Cider (who recently welcomed the Chief Executive of UK TI).  A new South West Food and Drink Innovation Centre is also planned for the Junction 21 Enterprise Area. more

Vocational Learning Tech fund
Funding is available, through the Ufi Charitable Trust, for the development of innovative uses of technology which can improve services and access to adult vocational learning. The grant funding is open to organisation of all sizes, offering up to £50,000 per project. more

Bristol Temple Quarter Zone update
A deal has been agreed by the Homes and Communities Agency to transfer the Arena Island site to Bristol City Council, an important step forward in developing the 12,000 capacity entertainment venue. The transfer also means that freed up funds can now be used to purchase the derelict former Royal Mail sorting office site for redevelopment. more


The 2015 Creative Apprenticeship Opportunity
Creative and digital businesses across the West of England can now access impartial advice and support around apprenticeships. Along with straight forward advice, businesses can access support with the recruitment process, guidance on reaching the most suitable young people and better understand the advantages of entering into an apprenticeship programme. Read more here

Employability Chartermark Success
All of the FE colleges in the West of England have now successfully achieved the Employability Chartermark Award which is awarded to education institutions in recognition of their commitment to, investment in, and delivery of work-readiness in young people.  85% of secondary schools in the West of England are also now engaged with the initiative. more


Business Growth Service
The Business Growth Service is a government funded initiative that supports business growth by offering a broad range of tailored advice and expertise in areas such as finance, skills, exporting, and the development of products. more

Pulse Roll Products receives Queen’s award for enterprise
Yate based Pulse Roll Products Ltd is celebrating after receiving the Queen’s Award for International Trade in recognition of outstanding growth in overseas earnings over a period of three years. The narrow web ink and varnish manufacturer, who received funding from the West of England Growth Fund, can now use The Queen’s Award Emblem on packaging as a symbol of their quality and success. more

Fast growing innovation software developer moves to Bristol
London based Wazoku has chosen Bristol as its first office outside of London. The award winning firm is a leading provider of collaborative innovation software. It cited Bristol’s development talent, potential for growth and the desire to become active in the business community as reasons for the move. more

Bath firm developing pioneering low carbon technology
Bath tech start up Industrial Phycology is developing a pioneering wastewater-to-energy system, trailed by Wessex Water, which uses algae to recover valuable resource from waste water. Following funding from the WofE LEP they are also working alongside Bristol’s specialist engineering firm Stirling Dynamics on developing new cutting edge products for the low carbon sector. more

Clevedon company wins Lord Mayor’s catering contract
Parsnip Mash, based in Clevedon, has won the contract to supply the Mansion house, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Bristol.  Its 20 strong team of chefs and event staff will be providing a full range of catering and hospitality services. more

WEGF Company seeks contributions to research
Footdown Ltd, with support from the West of England Growth Fund (WEGF), and in collaboration with the University of Bath, are running a research project that seeks to develop a diagnostic tool for measuring an organisation’s internal perception of culture, engagement and performance. 

If your organisation would like to contribute to the research, please complete the survey. If enough staff from your organisation respond, you will be provided with a bespoke report - in addition each responder will be entered into a prize draw to win a Kindle Fire.

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LEPs are driving economic growth across an economic area. They provide a means for local authorities to work together with business in order to quicken the economic recovery.
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