News and Events for Local Businesses - May 2019

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Plymouth business news

May 2019


  • Barden Factory Saved

  • British Exports Hit a Record High

  • £2 Million Fund Available for UK Creative and Tech Businesses

  • Showcase your Business at Devon Business Show 12 June 2019

Barden Factory Saved


Plymouth’s Barden factory has been saved after its parent company, Schaeffler, sold the Plymouth plant to HQW Holding (UK) Ltd. The plant in Estover will remain open and continue to manufacture bearings. To find out more click here

First Look at Detailed Plans for Forder Valley Link Road

Forder Valley Link Road

Residents and businesses along or near the Forder Valley will this week hear about how one of the city’s biggest ever infrastructure schemes will affect them.

A series of public information events is taking place to give people the low down on the Forder Valley Link Road and how it will be built. The new road will provide a much needed key link between the A38 and the north of the city, where new homes and businesses are being planned as the city grows. To Find out more click here

British Exports Hit a Record High, According to New Official Data

Export article

Data released on 10th May 2019 by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows the 2018/19 financial year was a record-breaking year for UK exports, as they reached £639.9 billion.Total exports grew at a rate of 3.0% and increased by £18.5 billion compared to the 2017/18 financial year.Despite the uncertain global economic outlook, UK exports have been growing for the past 36 consecutive months on an annual rolling basis, an indication of the unparalleled spirit and resilience of UK exporters up and down the country. To find out more click here

Investors Announced for the Immersive Technology Investment Accelerator


As part of the ISCF Audience of the Future Challenge, a new competition, the Immersive Technology Investment Accelerator, opens to companies on Monday 20 May. Up to £2m is available for UK creative and tech businesses to undertake R&D projects that enable immersive content to be created faster, more efficiently or in new ways through simultaneous grant funding and venture capital investment. The competition is open to UK-based small and medium businesses working with immersive technologies.To find out more click here

Pioneering Council Project Scoops Top National Award

Council  Award

A pioneering community infrastructure initiative which is helping to change residents lives in Plymouth has helped the City Council win the top award at the prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Excellence.

The ‘City Change Fund’ project was awarded the Silver Jubilee Cup and the Excellence in Tech within Planning Practice category. it is the third time the city has been awarded the Jubilee Cup, which is the RTPI’s highest accolade. To find out more click here

SME Support to Evaluate Innovative Medical Technologies

Innovate UK

The Office for Life Sciences (OLS), working with Innovate UK has made £1.5 million available for micro (<10), small (<50) and medium (<250) sized enterprises (SMEs) to evaluate products that address current NHS priorities.  
The competition provides support for SMEs that are developing innovative medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital technology to create an evidence base for products tested in a real world clinical setting by making funding available. Projects can apply for one of two funding opportunities. Find out more click here

Vote for Plymouth City Council as Co-operative Council of the Year!

council awards 2019

Plymouth City Council has been nominated in the Co-operative Council of the Year category at the Coop of the Year 2019 awards. Plymouth is the first council committed to double the size of its co-operative economy – delivering on New Economic Foundation’s Co-operatives Unleashed report from the grass roots. To find out more and vote click here

Armed Forces Day 2019

armed forces day

Celebrate Plymouth’s proud military tradition at the annual Armed Forces Day, in association with Babcock.
Enjoy a spectacular air display featuring the Red Arrows, who are returning to Plymouth for the first time since 2012. There will also be a flypast from a Royal Navy Merlin, and an RAF Spitfire, plus an air display by the Navy Wings Sea Fury T20. The exciting arena programme will include lively entertainment throughout the day, with highlights including the Royal Marine Band, Plymouth marching display, the Tri-Service Field Gun competitions and the thrilling unarmed combat display by the Royal Marines. There will also be interactive displays of military vehicles, equipment and fun activities within each of the ‘villages’ showcasing the military services, Veterans and emergency services, spread out across Plymouth Hoe.The entertainment continues into the evening, with a free concert. Dance the night away with the Royal Marines Function Band, Scarlett Lee - the 2018 X Factor runner-up, Tony is Tom Jones and One Step Behind - Europe's biggest tribute to Madness. To find out more click here

Devon Business Show

Devon Business Show

The Economic Development team will be joining the Devon Business Show at the Pavilions on 12 June 2019. The Business Show aims to provide a high-profile forum for businesses like yours to showcase the products and services you have to offer, access information and expert advice, and network with potential customers and suppliers. Come and visit us at Stand 44. For more details click here

Strategic Employer Engagement in Devon (SEED)

Hidden Talent in Devon (HTiD)

 City College Plymouth works with SMEs to strengthen higher-level vocational education and training including curriculum development and higher level/degree level apprenticeship development.

They can offer employers:

  • Training needs analysis and market research to help recognise and fill skills gaps.
  • Employer and provider workshops to develop new skills provision including higher  and degree level apprenticeships.
  • SME access to specialist facilities.
  • Employer outreach events to build and share best practice and support the role of the employer voice in defining the skills needs of the workforce.
  • Placing students in businesses to help address specific needs by both parties.

For more info email Project Manager, John Clamp

Pitchfest 2019 Applications Invited to Innovative Businesses

Pitchfest 2019

Pitchfest is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your business to a room full of people who can help it to grow. Ideally, we are looking for businesses that are expecting growth through investment in the near future. To find out more click here

The UnFound Roadshow Comes to Plymouth

unfound roadshow

As part of an effort to make the digital economy our own, @CooperativesUK & @StirtoAction have launched an accelerator, UnFound, to support digital platform co-operatives. Intrigued? Interested? Join the UnFound Roadshow on Monday 10 June at Ocean Studios. To find out more click here

Every Ride Counts 2019

Every ride counts 2019

The workplace cycle challenge, organised by Plymouth City Council’s Plymotion team, pits teams from organisations in Plymouth against each other to achieve the most bike trips through their daily commutes. It is open to people commuting to or from Plymouth for work or volunteering roles. It is all about encouraging more people to get out and about on their bike, reducing car trips in Plymouth throughout June and beyond. Find out more click here

Hidden Talent in Devon (HTiD)

Hidden Talent in Devon (HTiD)

City College Plymouth work with individuals and businesses to improve the uptake of HE, in particular those least likely to engage in HE.

They offer: 

  • IAG and outreach activities for businesses and managers to help them understand higher level skills opportunities for themselves and their staff. 
  • The creation of new HE level opportunities where there is employer/learner demand that is not served by existing provision either in terms of content or delivery method. 
  • Making more accessible elements of existing provision in bite sized chunks for employer learner ‘just in time’ support, where longer forms of provision are not applicable or accessible. 
  • Packages of learning that support existing provision, act as gateways to more structured study or enhance what is already available, e.g. supporting routes to professional recognition.

For more info email Project Manager, Colin Davey

To help Your Business Prepare for EU Exit


We have a lot of useful information on our Invest Plymouth website to guide you in preparing for EU Exit. There is a helpful Government toolkit and latest publications. HMRC latest letter and sector factsheets.

We also have advice from the Growth Hub and EEF - The Manufacturers organisation.To find out more click here

Support for Scale-up Businesses


A wealth of fully funded (yes free!), specialist support is available to businesses in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay with aspirations to become the ScaleUp businesses of tomorrow.

We have categorised this support by the main challenges facing ScaleUp and aspiring ScaleUp businesses. To find out more click here

Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP)


Attending overseas trade shows can promote your business overseas. Exporters can attend TAP's selected events, and get financial support to offset some costs. To find out more click here.

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme


The voucher scheme has been changed from £3,000 to £2,500.

If you are a small or medium sized business, you may be able to get a gigabit voucher worth up to £2500 to upgrade your business broadband to a fast and reliable connection over gigabit capable infrastructure. Deadline: March 2021. Find out more click here.

Join Co-cars and Enjoy Great Value Car Hire by the Hour or Day!


Co-cars has a network of zero/low emission cars across the South West, all of which are bookable 24/7 using smartphone technology and can be hired by the hour or day for a fraction of the cost of owning or leasing.To find out more, click here

Business Relationship Programme

Whether you are just starting out, or an established business looking for practical business advice, we are offering free one hour business information, advice and guidance sessions for business owners looking to grow. To find out more and to book, please email


Please visit our Invest Plymouth website for some more exciting business news articles here.


Did you know we are on Linkedin? Join us here for more regular updates.

Business Events

To find out more about the exciting business events coming up soon click here

Funding Options

Find out more about all the funding options available to your business, click here

Business Awarsd

Winning one of these prestigious awards in front of your industry peers can be a major boost for your company's profile. To find out more, click here

Business Support

To make the process of finding appropriate support easier for businesses in the city, Plymouth City Council Economic Development Service produce and maintain two booklets focussed on helping start ups and existing businesses to find support locally available. Please click here for Existing businesses and click here for Start-ups.


Business help, advice and guidance in growing and exporting your business. To find out more, click here

Plymotion 325

Free Adult Cycle Training, cycle groups and Walk and Talk. Plymotion is working with companies to promote sustainable travel and encourage staff to be more active on their journey to work. Have a look at our web pages and our latest business newsletter which you can find here.

Plymouth City Council Property to Rent or Buy

The Business Centre


Please follow this link to find Plymouth City Council owned land and property to rent or buy click here

Property to rent

79-81 Mutley Plain

Address: 79 - 81 Mutley Plain, Plymouth PL4 6JJ

Size available: 2,650 sq ft, rent £30,000 per annum

To find out more contact the agents: Rowley Hughes Thompson LLP - Barry Muggridge