Coronavirus latest Business news and updates for Plymouth businesses

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Plymouth business news

31 March 2021

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

  • Reminder: Today is the last day to submit applications for the LRSG - Applications close at midnight today
  • Resurgam Charter launches to help Plymouth build back better
  • Covid testing for businesses
  • The Box set to reopen Tuesday 18 May 2021
  • New plan sets out bright future for tourism in Plymouth
  • Ideate Plymouth opens for applications
  • Fast-growing healthcare agency relocates to Plymouth Science Park
  • Green travel grants for local businesses
  • Virtual events/webinars
  • Funding streams/competitions

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

Reminder: Today is the last day to submit applications for the LRSG - Applications close at midnight today

Plymouth City Council has distributed nearly £75 million in grants to support local businesses through coronavirus restrictions since April 2020, but many businesses still haven’t claimed the financial support they’re entitled to.

Thousands of Plymouth businesses have been supported by the Government’s grant schemes, including the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG).

The deadline for LRSG applications is midnight tonight, Wednesday 31 March.

More information about business grants and how to apply is available at

For any enquiries about business grants, there’s a dedicated online form available, with a dedicated team of Council staff responding as quickly as possible.

The new Restart Grants, available to help business reopen post-lockdown, will be administered by the Council and more information about this will be shared shortly.

Covid testing for businesses

All businesses in England are now able to sign up to the government’s free COVID-19 workplace testing programme. Please see the press release.

Those wishing to take part must do so before 12 April:

Resurgam Charter launches to help Plymouth build back better

Plymouth City Council has launched the Resurgam Charter, a commitment from Plymouth’s businesses to create a fairer and greener city as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

With a growing population of 263,000 people in the city, and a pre-Covid economic output of £5.2 billion, Plymouth is the most significant urban area on the South West peninsula. As part of the council’s economic recovery plan the city has set a target to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent and maximise local spending to create a lasting legacy for Plymouth and its community.

The Resurgam Charter, which is free for businesses to sign up to, focuses on five key challenge areas to ask businesses to commit to: Spend Locally, Employ Locally, Benefit our employees, Benefit our community and Benefit our environment.  

Find out more here

The Box set to reopen Tuesday 18 May 2021

The largest arts and heritage museum to open in the UK in 2020, The Box in Plymouth, plans to reopen to the public on Tuesday 18 May 2021, following a six-month closure due to COVID-19. The Box first opened its doors to visitors at its delayed public launch on 29 September 2020. It has so far welcomed more than 30,000 visitors, despite being open for a total of just nine weeks.

The Box is a significant part of Plymouth’s ‘Resurgam’ programme, as one of the transformational projects that will symbolise recovery and set the direction for positive change in the local economy and life in the city as it emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Find out more here

Ideate Plymouth opens for applications

Ideate Plymouth by Creative England will help you create immersive products and experiences which will enhance and grow your business.

If you're already working on an immersive technology product or you're new to the area, Ideate can help you develop your idea and your business:  

Find out more here

This activity is part of the iMayflower project and has been supported by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who fund the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England.

Fast-growing healthcare agency relocates to Plymouth Science Park

Plymouth Science Park has this month welcomed a new company specialising in Healthcare recruitment to their campus. Acorn Healthcare are moving to the Park to support their growing client base in Plymouth, North Devon and East Cornwall.

Acorn Healthcare specialise in providing tailored recruitment solutions for a range of healthcare clients in the private and public spheres, including care homes, nurseries, charities and community support organisations.

Having been established only two months ago in early 2021, Acorn Healthcare has become a regular recruiter with up to forty healthcare professionals on its books at a time.

Find out more here

International Trade Training

Need a refresher on international trade? Or do you have new team members who require an introduction to the area? Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce's export and import training courses provide you with everything you need to know.

You might even be eligible for a government grant to cover the costs via the new SME Brexit Support Fund that is now is now open for applications! Find out more here.

Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce has just released the next set of dates for their workshops. For full details visit their website.

Trading rules have also changed since 1 January 2021 and businesses are now required to submit Customs Declarations when trading with any country. With this in mind, new dates have been added for their Customs Declaration Training.

Spaces are limited and tend to fill up fast, so book now to avoid disappointment!

Green travel grants for local businesses

Are you a local business looking for funding to help with sustainable transport initiatives at your workplace? Our Workplace Travel Grants might be able to help.

Plymouth businesses are being offered the opportunity to bid for match-funded grants of up to £25,000 to pay for measures that help staff travel more sustainably to, from and at work.

Applications will be accepted from 1 April to 30 November and schemes must be delivered by March 2022.

This is the second year we have offered the Workplace Travel Grants. Launched in October 2020, it has already benefitted 15 companies, with more than £135,000 being invested in schemes that encourage more trips to be made by sustainable transport.

The Workplace Travel Grants scheme is part of our Productive Plymouth programme, which is funded by the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund and is making £750,000 available to employers to boost productivity through investing in sustainable travel infrastructure, improving air quality and supporting healthier lifestyles.

Find out more here

Virtual events/webinars

For further information on the latest events, visit Invest Plymouth's event page.

If you have a Plymouth event you'd like promoted, you can submit your own events here.


Export and Import Training

Devon Chamber of Commerce | Multiple dates

Need a refresher on international trade? Or do you have new team members who require an introduction to the area? The export and import training courses provide you with everything you need to know.

Find out more here


Plymouth Startup Weekend, Culture and Tourism Online Edition

University of Plymouth/iMayflower | 23 to 25 April

Calling innovators & changemakers: build a startup in 54 hours!

Techstars is a global community of local event organisers in more than 100 cities worldwide during the pandemic startup weekend events have shifted online supporting and empowering more budding entrepreneurs than ever before! A startup weekend is a 3-day programme designed for those who want learn how to start their own business. Transform your rough idea into a business model in just 54 hours, then pitch your idea (or an idea you are passionate about) to a panel of judges. Network, collaborate, learn new skills.

Find out more here


Which Way? Heart of the South West Careers Hub Virtual Event

Heart of the South West | 27 to 29 April

Showcasing local employment & education opportunities and support young people across schools and colleges within the LEP area of Devon, Somerset, Torbay and Plymouth.

The event will provide you with the opportunity to showcase your sector and any Apprenticeships, Traineeships, T-Levels, Kickstart, Internships, Work Experience or general vacancies you may have.

Find out more here

Grants/Funding opportunities

IUK Launches Zero Emission Road Freight Competitions

Funded by the Department for Transport (DfT), Innovate UK (IUK) has launched three competition strands to support advanced feasibility studies into zero emission road freight. There is a total budget of £10 million available across these three strands:

  • Strand 1: Electric Road System Demonstration Feasibility Studies
  • Strand 2: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Demonstration Feasibility Studies
  • Strand 3: Supply Chain Technology Feasibility Studies and Industrial Research

The deadline for applications for all competition strands is Wednesday 5 May 2021.

Find out more here


Launch of £250,000 Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs Competition

The Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs Competition aims to help businesspeople bring their enterprising ideas, imagined during the coronavirus lockdown, to fruition.

Successful participants will be awarded grants to grow or buy the basics they need to commence trading.

The deadline for applications is 22 May 2021.

Find out more here


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