News and Events for Local Businesses - 12 June

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Plymouth business news

12 June 2020

Please find below an overview of the latest business advice and guidance, including the latest COVID-19 support. In today's newsletter you will find news and updates including:

  • An update on our Discretionary Grant Fund scheme
  • Future High Street Fund plan unveiled
  • A Plymouth guide to reopening safely
  • Zoos, safari parks and open-air cinemas to re-open
  • What to expect travelling in and around Plymouth
  • Plymotion Sustainable Travel
  • Business Secretary launches working groups to help unleash Britain's growth potential
  • Join a team driving the low carbon agenda in Devon
  • Businesses at Plymouth Science Park Support University of Plymouth Graduates
  • Funding streams and competitions
  • Virtual events/webinars

If you have any specific concerns or are in need of support, please contact us.

An update on our Discretionary Grant Fund scheme

Last week (1 June) we launched our Discretionary Grant Fund scheme for Plymouth. One week on, as expected, we’ve seen high demand. 

So far, we have approved 74 applications for £635,000 in grants.

We expect that demand for this scheme will continue to be high and that it will quickly be at capacity for the amount of money that we have been allocated. If you’ve applied for a grant through this scheme we’ll be contacting you as quickly as we can to let you know the outcome of your grant application.

It is likely that we will close the grant scheme earlier than planned due to the level of demand so we would encourage businesses to get applications in as quickly as possible. We will further update on the status of this fund next week.

For more details about the discretionary grant scheme and the priority criteria set out by Government please click here

Future High Street Fund plan unveiled

Two of the city’s most important buildings could play starring roles in a radical plan to get more feet on the ground, more exciting and creative events and more places for people to live in the city centre.

Urban Splash, Plymouth City Council and the University of Plymouth have unveiled plans as part of the city’s Resurgam recovery project that could rebuild confidence and create a buzz that will bring more people in, for more reasons and for much longer.

The scheme is part of the city’s Future High Street Fund pitch which is due to be submitted to Government at the end of the month and its key themes are to:

  • Restore the Civic Centre as a symbol of renewed confidence
  • Introduce high impact uses with economic and social value
  • Build a high profile events economy around the refurbished Guildhall and Civic
  • Fill the Civic with pioneering, industrious and creative people
  • Kick-start a local distinctive Future High Street.

Join the debate

The project team want to hear what people think of the plan and are inviting people to join them in a webinar on 19 June to get more details of the thinking behind the plan.

Find out more here

A Plymouth guide to reopening safely

Working with our partners Destination Plymouth, Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership we’ve created this toolkit to help you reopen your business safely, providing you with advice and guidance and practical tools that can be used as you welcome customers back to your premises.

This toolkit has been produced with funding from the Reopening High Street Fund, funded by HM Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

View the toolkit here

Zoos, safari parks and open-air cinemas to re-open

The Prime Minister announced at the No10 Covid-19 press conference briefing on 10 June 2020, that provided visitor numbers are managed and safeguards put in place to facilitate social distancing, zoos, safari parks and open-air cinemas in England can open from the 15 June 2020, though indoor areas such as reptile houses remain closed. 

View the Prime Minister's statement here.

Guidance on Working Safely Outdoors can be found here and a recent Government webinar on the topic can be watched again here.

What to expect travelling in and around Plymouth

People who travel in and out of the city centre will notice a few key changes as public transport services continue to adapt to measures brought in as a result of COVID-19.

Bus services are now starting to return to nearly normal levels. However, as there have been some changes to routes and frequency of services, people are being urged to check operator websites or for the most up-to-date timetables. Extra safety measures have been introduced both on board and at bus stops.

At the moment time restrictions for concessionary fares have been lifted so that all pass-holders can travel all day (normally 9.30am to 11pm on weekdays and anytime at weekends/bank holidays). 

Plymotion Sustainable Travel

Plymotion is a Plymouth City Council programme that promotes sustainable travel in the city. Here are some of the cycling support schemes offered for businesses/employees to help people get to work by bike, rather than by car or public transport.

Dr Bike

A qualified mechanic carries out a bike check and simple repairs, for free, at your workplace. Contact Bikespace on 01752 500211 for more information.

Find out more here

Commuter tutor

Service offered through Plymouth Schools Sport Partnership. Cyclists are accompanied by an experienced ride leader on their commute, helping them find and use best possible route. Free one-to-one adult cycle training is also available – whether you need a refresher sessions or want to get cycling from scratch. Email Jonathan Tutte at to book.

Find out more here

eCargo bike trials

Businesses can give an eCargo bike a go for local deliveries – contact Plymotion team via email at

Business Secretary launches working groups to help unleash Britain's growth potential

Business Secretary Alok Sharma is creating 5 new business-focused groups to unleash Britain’s growth potential and create jobs, as part of the government’s plans to help the economy bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.

They will consider measures to support economic recovery and ensure we have the right skills and opportunities in place for our workforce over the next 18 months.

Find out more here

Join a team driving the low carbon agenda in Devon

The Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon project is currently recruiting six positions to help drive low-carbon economic growth in the county.

Funded by an investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the three-year £2.6 million programme supports Devon-based organisations to access research, business support, and engage with the University of Plymouth on the low-carbon agenda.

To deliver the integrated programme of activity, including low carbon subsidised student and graduate internships, collaborative research projects, energy reduction projects and a programme of knowledge exchange events, the project are currently advertising for a Knowledge Exchange Officer, Marketing and Events Officer and four Industrial Research Fellows, specialising in Green Walls, Power Electronics, Energy Efficient Buildings and Creative Industries.

Find out more here

Businesses at Plymouth Science Park Support University of Plymouth Graduates

Forty University of Plymouth students have taken up work placements (year-in-industry) offered by world-leading businesses at Plymouth Science Park in the past three years,

The successful scheme has proved popular with under-graduates and employers alike and has led to full-time roles for many of those taking part.

Between the second and final year of study, students have the opportunity to complete an optional work placement. Such an experience provides students with essential work experience and helps develop skills to support learning, it also enables them to start developing their own professional network.

The Careers Service at the university works closely with PSP and the businesses based there to encourage employees and students to work together for mutual benefit.

Many of the undergraduates who have taken on placements specialise in STEM subjects. Some employers and graduates have also benefited from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) STEM Graduates into Business Programme.

Find out more here

Funding streams and competitions

BBC Children in Need Launches COVID-19 Next Step Grants Programme

The funding is intended to benefit not-for-profit organisations working with disadvantaged children and young people aged 0-18 years.

Grants of up to £80,000 are available to help organisations with more complex service adaption, including additional staffing requirements. It is designed to be as flexible as possible, covering a wide range of activities. Projects can last up to 18 months and need to begin in September 2020.

Find out more here


Young Entrepreneurs Invited to Apply for 2020 Varsity Pitch Competition

The Varsity Pitch Competition rewards UK students and recent graduate entrepreneurs who have enterprising ideas that they wish to turn into viable businesses; enabling participants to showcase their unique, creative ideas to the wider community.

The business/idea must be the entrants’ own idea and/or an idea that they are free to disclose. Additionally, entrants must be able to own and run a business or social enterprise in the UK and be at least 16 years of age.

Find out more here


IUK Launches Designing Sustainable Plastic Solutions Competition

According to Innovate UK (IUK), the environmental impact of goods and services can be reduced through better design, but the benefits will only be realised if these new designs are readily adopted by customers.

This competition provides grants to help businesses better understand relevant customer and user behaviours and use that knowledge to create designs for innovative goods, services or business models that will result in less persistent plastic waste entering the environment.

Find out more here


Fund Launched for Infrastructure Organisations Working to Address Youth Unemployment

In response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, the Youth Futures Foundation is providing resilience funding for infrastructure organisations in England that support the needs of frontline organisations which are delivering effective solutions to youth unemployment

Find out more here


Co-op Local Community Fund Accepting Applications

This is an annual fund which opens for applications once a year. The funding aims to help communities to come together, co-operate and have a positive impact on community wellbeing – physically and virtually.

Find out more here


England’s Frontline Domestic Abuse Charities Can Bid Now for £1.85m in Funding

The Government has opened a second bidding round to allocate the remainder of the £10 million Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation: COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund. Round 2 will award the remaining £1.85 million on a rolling ‘first come, first served basis’.

This fund aims to address the impact of COVID-19 on domestic abuse safe accommodation charities and the additional costs they are facing as a result.

Find out more here

Virtual events and webinars

For further information on the latest virtual events, or to upload and promote yours, visit Invest Plymouth's event page

You can also submit your own virtual events.


Oceansgate Marine Technology Webinar Series

Oceansgate |  Wednesday 17 June to Wednesday 7 October, 11am

The series of webinars will provide a platform for the world class marine technology offer in the surrounding area with topics including access to innovation funding and support, marine autonomy, case studies covering leading edge tech development and showcasing world class strengths in the SW.

The next webinar, on Wednesday 17 June, is on Smart Sound Plymouth: Britain’s platform for innovative marine technology development

Find out more here

Considerations for reopening a Licensed Premises and the Evening and Night-Time Economy

Torbay Council | Thursday 18 June, 10.30am to 12.30pm

This webinar will cover operational and premises management considerations; Promotion, Marketing, Messaging and PR; Staff Management; Financial support and Legal update

Find out more here


Join the debate: The Future High Street Bid

Plymouth City Council | Friday 19 June, 1pm

Urban Splash, Plymouth City Council and the University of Plymouth have unveiled plans as part of the city’s Resurgam recovery project that could rebuild confidence and create a buzz that will bring more people in, for more reasons and for much longer.

This debate is a chance for us to measure support as part of the bidding process and for the bid team to get feedback, suggestions and expressions of interest for the next stage. There will be four short presentations followed by Q&A, comments and questions can be submitted during the debate or in advance. 

Find out more here


Unlocking Land: Access after lockdown

Real Ideas Organisation |  Friday 26 June, 2.30pm to 4pm

Plymouth is fortunate to have large areas of publicly accessible green space, that has mainly remained open during Covid-19 - yet not every city is as lucky and not everyone is impacted equally by land access. This webinar looks at the equity of land access and ownership in the UK, why this matters, and alternatives ways to manage land to improve our access, for the benefit of people and the environment.

Find out more here


Government webinars

Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available:


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


Keep up to date with news and advice on our COVID-19 business support page 

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