Latest Business news and updates for Plymouth businesses

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Plymouth business news

1 July 2021

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

  • Plymouth’s Marine Tech Expo returns virtually in 2021
  • Britain’s Ocean City gearing up for the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix
  • Invitation to pitch at South West Innovation Expo 2021
  • Enter the Devon & Plymouth Chamber Awards Ceremony
  • New development manager to help grow cruise business in Plymouth
  • Free online qualification training to support adult skills
  • MDL Marinas renews partnership with British Keelboat League and RS Sailing
  • ‘Three hours for free’ parking proposals for Mutley Plain
  • Plymouth Science Park welcomes Complete Communication to the Park
  • Virtual events/webinars
  • Funding streams/competitions

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

Plymouth’s Marine Tech Expo returns virtually in 2021

Plymouth is hosting its third Marine Tech Expo on 12 and 13 July 2021, designed to demonstrate the South Coast's marine credentials to the world. The event will bring together the decision makers, innovators and enterprises involved in the latest advances in marine technology.

Delegates at the event will get the opportunity to enjoy exciting livestream in-sea demonstrations of autonomous vehicles, showcasing their capabilities in Plymouth Sound.

If you would like to exhibit and promote your marine products and services to top industry professionals, then please get in touch with us at

Find out more and book your free tickets here

Britain’s Ocean City gearing up for the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix

With just two weeks to go, anticipation is building for the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix as Plymouth – Britain’s Ocean City – prepares to welcome the sport’s top athletes representing eight national teams for the third event of Season 2 on July 17-18.

In partnership with Plymouth City Council and with support from the Associated British Ports, English Cities Fund and Sutton Harbour Group, the identical supercharged SailGP F50 foiling catamarans of Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States will meet for the third time this year to race in the iconic natural amphitheatre of Plymouth Sound.

Building on its momentum from the first season, SailGP’s Inspire program – the league’s community, education and outreach initiative – will continue its mission to increase diversity and accessibility within the sport of sailing. Activating its three program pathways at the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth, Inspire’s focus on Learning, Careers and Racing will include guided tours, on-water sailing experiences, STEM challenges and more.

SailGP’s Race for the Future will also continue in Plymouth, not only with each of the team’s showcasing their Race for the Future partners at the event, but also through interactive activities in the official spectator area, innovative technologies in use on-water and through local community projects and engagement. All working towards SailGP’s mission of creating a better sport and a better planet and helping to leave a legacy in Plymouth long after SailGP departs.

Business Engagement

Visit the Invest Plymouth SailGP page below and find out how your business can benefit from SailGP, and don’t forget to download the SailGP assets available for business use!

Find out more here


A ticketed, official spectator area will be situated on Plymouth Hoe right on the waterfront for a limited number of fans to watch the racing. Boat owners are also invited to take their boat out to watch the racing and can register for all of the course information via SailGP’s Bring Your Own Boat Program. A limited number of tickets are still available at

Fans unable to attend can watch all the action broadcast live in 175 territories, including via SKY Sports in the UK and Ireland as well as live on YouTube. The award-winning SailGP APP – available in the App Store and Google Play – gives the ultimate viewing experience with full customization, access to data, and live commentary.

Invitation to pitch at South West Innovation Expo 2021

Are you a tech start-up? Excited by the thought of pitching your business to an audience of investors, business leaders, influencers and other entrepreneurs? Then submit your application to Pitchfest – a free pitching event at the much-anticipated South West Innovation Expo 2021.

If your application is successful you’ll also get a free exhibition stand – providing yet more opportunity to meet and network with delegates.

Find out more and apply here

Enter the Devon & Plymouth Chamber Awards

The Devon Chamber of Commerce Business Awards honours the best in entrepreneurship and enterprise and has become one of the most prestigious events in the business calendar.

The sought-after awards are expertly judged and culminate in a glittering ceremony where members of the Chamber are honoured for their success and innovation.

Our 2021 event takes place on Friday 24 September at the newly refurbished Buckfast Abbey in Buckfastleigh.

Chamber member businesses can enter their business, employees or another business or individual for a number of categories.

Download a nomination form via the link below and email the completed entry to by Wednesday 14 July 2021.

Find out more here

New development manager to help grow cruise business in Plymouth

Destination Plymouth is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Cruise Business Development Manager, for the city and the port, Glen Gardner.

The aim of the role is to deliver business development and marketing services to support the growth of cruise visits to Plymouth.

Glen brings a wealth of experience with him, having more than 20 years’ experience in the cruise industry including five years working on board. After deciding to work ashore, Glen worked for the worlds’ biggest cruise operator Carnival in Southampton, initially in customer services and later cruise operations.

Since then, Glen has worked with a number of organisations including Associated British Ports (ABP) Port of Southampton, where he was appointed Key Account Manager for Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, and managed the largest most technologically advanced cruise terminal in the UK. Glen also has worked in Cruise Manager and Guest Port Services Manager roles throughout his career.

Find out more here

Free online qualification training to support adult skills

Plymouth City Council’s adult learning service is offering free online qualification training to support adult skills

Plymouth City Council is committed to skills development through lifelong learning and we are delighted to confirm that On Course South West will continue delivering Level 2 online qualifications free until further notice.   We urge those supporting staff, volunteers and stakeholders with their professional development to get in touch to find out more. Over 40 professional accredited, nationally recognised qualifications are available within Health and Social Care, Business and Industry and Essential Knowledge to progress.

Find out more here

MDL Marinas renews partnership with British Keelboat League and RS Sailing

MDL Marinas is delighted to announce it is the ‘Official Marina Partner’ of the British Keelboat League and RS Sailing for the second time, having previously sponsored the series in 2019.

The renewal of this exciting partnership will see MDL Marinas provide easy access to the water from its Hamble Point and Queen Anne’s Battery marinas during the 2021 British Keelboat League events for the six competing RS 21 keelboats.

With Hamble Point Marina’s direct access to the Solent and Queen Anne’s Battery’s proximity to Plymouth Sound, this support ensures the teams are located close to the start line. Participating sailors and organisers will also enjoy access to the marinas’ excellent facilities to support their racing including slipways, boat repairs, and chandlery.

Find out more here

‘Three hours for free’ parking proposals for Mutley Plain

Visitors to Mutley Plain are set to benefit from an extra hour’s free parking under proposals being advertised this week.

The Mutley Barracks and Napier Terrace car parks currently offer free parking for up to two hours but plans to extend this to three hours could be implemented as soon as August if they get the go-ahead.

The proposals were formally advertised on Thursday 24 June and people will have 21 days to share their views before a final decision is made.

If approved, the three hours of free parking will apply to the whole of the Mutley Barracks surface-level car park and the upper floor of the Napier Terrace multi-storey car park.

Extending free parking in these car parks from two to three hours is Commitment 70 out of 86 the administration has made for the city and one of 22 it plans to deliver during its first 100 days.

Comments can be made either by emailing or in writing to: Assistant Director of Street Services (Plymouth Highways), Ballard House, West Hoe Road, Plymouth PL1 3BJ and must be received by Thursday 15 July.

Plymouth Science Park welcomes Complete Communication to the Park

Complete Communication is the latest tenant to join Plymouth Science Park. The accessibility business provides cost-effective communication, education and language specialist services to support disabled and deaf people across the UK.

Plymouth Science Park is already home to five education and training based organisations, including Sponge, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust Project SEARCH, University of Plymouth’s School of Health Professions & Peninsula Medical School and South Devon College.

The move to Plymouth Science Park will support Complete Communication to achieve their ambitious growth plans as they work alongside like-minded businesses already based at the Park.

Find out more here


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

Business Breakfast at Market Hall - Marine

Real Ideas / Oceansgate | Friday 2 July, 8am to 10am

Oceansgate and Real Ideas are delighted to welcome you to the Market Hall – with a ‘state of the art’ immersive dome and facilities to support new opportunities, innovation and creative technology. It is an ideal medium to connect people with the marine environment and explore where VR, AR, mixed reality, AI and other tech takes us.

The Market Hall is a place for collaborations to happen, an immersive hub in the heart of Devonport and another example of Plymouth leading the way.

Find out more here


Ignite Festival of Creativity

University of Plymouth | Multiple dates

Connecting creative graduates, business and the public to spark employability, placemaking and new creative economy projects across Plymouth and beyond.

Find out more here


Allergen Awareness Webinar

Environmental Health & Trading Standards | Thursday 8 July, 10am to 11am

Food businesses are invited to join Environmental Health and Trading Standards Officers from Devon, Somerset, Torbay and Plymouth for this free, 1-hour webinar to learn how to control allergens in the food you serve.

The webinar will cover:

  • The 14 legally recognised allergens and the relevant legislation. 
  • Practical advice on identifying allergens in ingredients and “may contain”.  
  • Practical advice about preventing cross-contamination risks.
  • The importance of food management systems and practical implementation.  
  • Links to additional support tools, advice and step-by-step guidance. 
  • Changes to allergen labelling requirements in October 2021.
  • Plus there will be a chance to ask questions to get specific advice relating to your business

Find out more here

There is also another Allergen Awareness Webinar on the 15 July at 3pm.

Grants/Funding opportunities

Applications open for LEP's £800k Growing Places fund

Heart of the South West LEP have launched an £800k loan fund to help businesses in the region deliver meaningful projects that support the transformational opportunities set out in the LEP’s Build Back Better plan.

Applicants are encouraged to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects and the LEP is expecting to support one or two projects from this fund, with a minimum Growing Places loan size of £250,000.

A short Expression of Interest should be submitted by 11 July 2021.

Find out more here


LEP's £900k inward investment fund now open for second round  

The LEP's £900k ERDF Inward Investment Support Grant Scheme is now open for a second round of applications.

The fund, designed to boost economic recovery and create new jobs in Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay, offers grants of between £25k-£150k, which require match funding, to foreign-owned businesses based in the region who are looking to grow.

Businesses have until 10 September 2021 to apply.

Find out more here


New funding to support UK professional and business services regulators

New pilot funding programme will provide targeted support to UK professional and business services regulators and professional bodies to help UK qualified professionals and businesses deliver services overseas.

The announcement follows the introduction to Parliament of new legislation that will include empowering UK regulators to enter into agreements with their overseas counterparts.

Find out more here


Zinc Venture Builder for Social Impact Entrepreneurs - Deadline Extended

Based in London and commencing in October 2021, Zinc Venture Builder is a 12-month programme which aims to build new companies to tackle the biggest social challenges in the developed world. The programme is designed to be mission-led for pre-team and pre-idea individuals.

Financial support will be provided in the form of a stipend of £12,000 for each founder during the first six months of the programme, £75,000 for each venture chosen for the Accelerate phase and around £150,000 investment for each venture which goes on to achieve full seed-stage investment. Zinc will take up to a 13% equity stake in the new venture.

The final deadline for applications has been extended to 29 July 2021.

Find out more here


Hangar 51 Accelerator Open for Start-ups Testing Products and Services

Hangar 51 is a ten-week programme which allows participants to trial their products at scale, whilst working closely alongside the International Airlines Group (IAG) senior management team and other experts. IAG is looking to test and trial promising products and services with airline customers.

Hangar 51 Ventures will not invest automatically as part of the accelerator. Instead, if participants raise money in the two years after the accelerator, they are asked to give Hangar 51 the option to invest €250,000 or 20% of the value of the next round.

The deadline for applications 31 August 2021.

Find out more here


Launch of £25,000 Business Boost Competition

Designed to help small businesses emerge successfully from the COVID-19 pandemic, and boost the chances of new start-ups, the Business Boost Competition has been launched. The scheme can help those wishing to start, grow or revive a small business.

The winner will be awarded a £25,000 grant.

The deadline to apply is 17 September 2021.

Find out more here



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