Latest Business news and updates for Plymouth businesses

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Plymouth business news

27 May 2021

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

  • There is still time to apply for a Restart Grant
  • SailGP
  • Opportunities to work with Plymouth City Council
  • Incredible one-day festival will put local talent on Plymouth's biggest stage
  • Creating a spark with the IGNITE Festival of Creativity
  • First look at Immersive Dome at the soon to open Market Hall
  • Introducing Ocean Studios Live x PHASE SHIFTER
  • Devonport Heritage trail to launch at the Market Hall
  • Accelerating Women's Enterprise Newsletter
  • Virtual events/webinars
  • Funding streams/competitions

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

There is still time to apply for a Restart Grant

There is still time to apply for a Restart Grant. We have received over 1,000 applicants and paid out over £2 million to businesses who have applied, however 30% of Restart Grants are still unclaimed.

The Restart Grants are designed to help businesses reopen safely. Eligible businesses will receive a one-off grant to help their business as Covid-19 restrictions are gradually lifted.

See eligibility and how to apply on the Invest Plymouth website. 

Find out more here


One of the world's most impressive sailing events, SailGP, will return to UK shores in Plymouth on 17-18 July, promising high speed, high tech and high drama.

Look out for our advert on ITV Westcountry airing from 26 May to 6 July!

The championship brings more to the city than just fan excitement. In addition to the thrills of the on-sea action, SailGP will funnel millions of pounds into the local economy – whilst attracting global attention and supplying the cobbles with a boost to tourism.

Find out how your business can benefit from SailGP with our Digital Business Engagement Pack, and don’t forget to download the SailGP assets available for business use!

Find out more here

Work with us!

Two exciting opportunities have arisen to work with us on the C-Care project within Plymouth City Council. C-Care is a partnership of four English & three French organisations along with a much wider network of stakeholders and previous Interreg projects from the FCE area who have developed a unique and ambitious package of targeted support in response to some of the socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Covid-19 has affected every area of life in the FCE area and the C-Care project aims to address issues where the impacts have been the greatest. C-Care consists of four work packages aimed at supporting individuals at risk of exclusion and businesses at risk of closure in order to reverse some of the negative impacts of the pandemic.

We are recruiting for a Community Lead Co-ordinator to join the Skills Team, focussing on the development of Outreach and Engagement programmes to reach the most disadvantaged residents in the city.

Find out more and apply here

We are also recruiting for a Communications Officer to join the Inclusive Economy Team, which focuses on making living and working in Plymouth fairer and greener.

Find out more and apply here

These roles are part of a two-year project funded by European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Channel programme (FCE) until 31 March 2023.

Incredible one-day festival will reignite Plymouth and put local talent on city’s biggest stage

This summer, a one-day event featuring music, dance and hip hop will celebrate exceptional local talent, all on the largest stage Plymouth Hoe has ever seen.

Plymouth Presents: Roots Up! and Soundwaves Festival on Saturday 10 July will encompass two key events, a hip hop festival and an evening of live music. Free to attend, it promises entertainment and excitement, and tickets are available to book now.

Taking place on Plymouth Hoe the day before the Mayflower 400 Four Nations Ceremony on 11 July, it’s set to be a memorable weekend for the city.

The day will start at 12.30pm with Roots Up!, a hip hop festival by the award-winning group Street Factory. Part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations, it features a mass community dance challenge and a spectacular hip hop stage performance.

Following the hip hop extravaganza is Soundwaves Festival, running from 3pm to 10.30pm. The festival has been created thanks to a partnership between Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Culture, the Grassroots Music Alliance Plymouth and the Plymouth Music Collective.

Find out more here

Creating a spark with the IGNITE Festival of Creativity

From city centre shop fronts and waterfront spaces to art galleries and exhibition halls, keep your eyes peeled this summer for the brilliant work of Plymouth’s creative arts graduates. The graduates are being given the opportunity to connect with the public and local industry, thanks to the innovative IGNITE Festival of Creativity.

The festival, from 26 May to 19 July, puts a unique spin on the traditional arts degree shows by combining the exhibitions by graduates from the University of Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art with installations and exhibitions in community settings.

IGNITE 2021 also aims to act as a spark to link businesses and organisations with the graduates, whose professional profiles are featured on the IGNITE website. The idea is to keep the talent in the city by securing employment opportunities, while at the same time providing a portfolio of Plymouth-based talent that firms can tap into.

The graduates span subjects ranging from fashion, crafts, commercial photography, graphic communication and interior design and styling to product design, animation and game arts, fine art, filmmaking and painting, drawing, printmaking and performing arts.

Businesses can search the talent on the IGNITE website, where they can engage the graduates for work directly. They can also request a Partner Park by emailing Dan at:

Find out more here

First look at Immersive Dome promises a world of experiences and opportunities at the soon to open Market Hall

The first footage and images have been released today giving a sneak peek into the world-class Immersive Dome at the Grade II listed Market Hall in Devonport, Plymouth. 

Developed by Real Ideas Organisation, in partnership with Plymouth City Council and the Institute of Digital Art and Technology at University of Plymouth, the Market Hall is a £7.6m project which will create a new space for digital, especially those working in immersive and creative applications of technology. 

The world-class Immersive Dome is the first of its type (15m diameter, 210 degrees over the top, with a flat floor) in Europe. The only other like it in the world can be found at SAT in Montreal, Canada. 

Needing just 2 projectors to cover the full surface of the dome, the tech at the Market Hall is cutting edge and creates a seamless shared virtual reality experience. The bespoke sound system, boasting 19 channels, encases the Dome and adds to what is a truly immersive experience with the power to transport you anywhere in the universe – real or imagined – that you can dream of!

The Market Hall joins the growing Real Ideas campus of spaces including Ocean Studios and Devonport Guildhall in Plymouth and CSpace in Newquay.

Find out more here

Introducing Ocean Studios Live x PHASE SHIFTER

Building on Plymouth's growing international reputation for hosting immersive cultural experiences including the Illuminate Light Festival, we are delighted to announce a brand new work by internationally renowned light art collective Squidsoup. This work is produced in partnership with Real Ideas as part of the iMayflower project and is supported by DCMS and Arts Council England. 

The installation opens in the Factory Cooperage shed at Royal William Yard on 21 May and runs until 5 June. On selected weekend evenings there will also be live music and entertainment, along with a bar and a pop-up food offer.

Find out more here

Devonport Heritage trail to launch at the Market Hall

A new Devonport Heritage Trail has been added to the Plymouth Trails app, demonstrating the real value of creative technologies to sectors like tourism. 

The 4.5 mile route is an updated version of the hugely popular trail that has guided people around Devonport since 2011. Now, thanks to Real Ideas and the iMayflower project, the walking trail has been digitised and users will be guided along the route in the easy-to-use app.

The original trail was created by Plymouth City Council, Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership, local artists and historians, and the City Museum (now The Box). The trail has been updated by Visit Plymouth and contains even more fantastic archival images from The Box collections.

You can download the Plymouth Trails app for free from the AppStore or PlayStore.

For more information, including accessibility, head to

Just think 111 first this summer 

As the summer approaches, we’re reaching out to those working in local businesses to help us keep the NHS safe and alleviate the pressure on emergency departments.

The NHS 111 campaign aims to signpost people to one service which can be used for urgent medical advice and it applies both to residents and visitors who are here for the summer.

Download the asset pack here

Accelerating Women's Enterprise Newsletter

The Accelerating Womens Enterprise (AWE) programme has continued to offer support to women through training workshops which have been delivered via online platforms such as Zoom, alongside face to face sessions where possible. Our advisors also provide 1:1 sessions as well as pairing women with a mentor. AWE provides women with the skills, knowledge and confidence in running their own business, marketing, sales, finance and funding to make their business dreams a reality.   

Read their latest newsletter 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

Free masterclasses to improve your business

City College Plymouth | 1, 2, 4 June, 9.30am to 4.30pm

The masterclasses are part of the SMART SKILLS programme, funded by the European Social Fund, which aims to help Devon-based SMEs and self-employed to identify skills gaps in their existing workforce and provide the skills training they need to advance. 

Find out more here


Design Almost Anything

Smart Citizens | 9 June to 14 July

Learn how to design (almost) anything in the Smart Citizens' 6-week online CAD training, starting 9 June! In this free course you can discover how to bring your ideas to life using the free software, Autodesk Fusion 360, and develop your own personal design project. From designing jewellery, products to architecture and tech - the possibilities are endless! 

Find out more here


Points-based immigration and EU Settlement Scheme Webinar

Heart of the South West Growth Hub | Monday 14 June, 11am to 12pm

This webinar will explore the EU settlement scheme and will be delivered by the Home Office Engagement Team and chaired by the NFU.

The session will cover:

  • EU Settlement Scheme
  • Skilled Workers
  • Employing a worker – Sponsorship
  • Right to Work Checks
  • Available resources
  • Seasonal worker route and Frontier Workers

Find out more here

Grants/Funding opportunities

IUK Launches New Round of Smart Grants for Disruptive R&D

The Innovate UK (IUK) Smart Grants provide an opportunity for businesses and research and technology organisations to apply for a grants to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.

IUK has allocated up to £25 million to fund a number of innovation projects in this competition. For projects with a duration of between 6 and 18 months, the total eligible project costs will be between £25,000 and £500,000 (single company or collaboration). For those with a duration between 19 and 36 months, the total eligible project costs will be between £25,000 and £2 million (collaboration only).

The competition opens on 28 May 2021 and closes on 25 August 2021.

Find out more here


Apply for a grant to help small and medium-sized businesses new to importing or exporting

The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover.

Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date.

Find out more here


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