Latest Business news and updates for Plymouth businesses

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Plymouth business news

16 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 Sound National Marine Park awarded £9.5 million
  • Latest news from SailGP
  • Check out new designs for Brunel Plaza
  • Europe's 'first of its kind' 360 dome launches £7.6 million immersive technology hub
  • Share your views on plans to improve public transport and cycling links at St Budeaux
  • New Chief Executive of Theatre Royal Plymouth appointed
  • Expertise required to deliver iMayflower Project Tech & Business Bootcamp and Enterprise Incubation Programme
  • Manufacturing Barometer Review
  • New tenant at Plymouth Science Park
  • Latest News from Accelerating Women's Enterprise 
  • Thinking about becoming your own boss?
  • Virtual events/webinars
  • Funding streams/competitions

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

Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

Plymouth Sound National Marine Park awarded £9.5 million

Plymouth Sound, the home of UK’s first National Marine Park has been awarded £9.5 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to make its vision of a park in the sea a reality.

People across the city and surrounding the Sound are celebrating after learning the bid for the Heritage Horizon Awards has been successful.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park will reconnect an entire city to the sea, the marine environment and its history. The bid is based on three key elements:

  • Physical infrastructure: creating gateways to the park with improved facilities at Tinside cove and pool, Mount Batten Peninsula and watersports centre, the National Marine Aquarium, Mount Edgcumbe as well as enhancing community access points though out the park
  • Social infrastructure: a city wide community engagement programme designed to get all Plymothians out in, on, under and next to the water and develop new ‘green’ marine employment opportunities
  • Digital park: using the latest tech to create new ways of engaging people with the park and learning about its hidden treasures without getting wet.

Find out more here

SailGP Inspire

Latest news from SailGP

SailGP will return to UK shores in Plymouth this weekend on 17 and 18 July, promising high speed, high tech and high drama. Find out how your business can benefit here, and for more information on the event, head over to Visit Plymouth.

See the latest news on SailGP:

Spectacular STEM event inspiring Plymouth students

Plymouth City Council is bringing the high-tech and high-adrenaline nature of SailGP from the racecourse to a unique ‘classroom’ on the waterfront this week, as hundreds of students from Plymouth schools enjoy an inspirational day of activities at Tinside Lido.

The ‘STEM GP’ event is taking place this Thursday and Friday (15 and 16 July), with students in years 5, 6, 7 and 8 taking part.  

From making and racing their own boats to experimenting with exciting tech used by SailGP, the day aims to open pupils’ eyes to the possibilities of a career in STEM through 10 different activities.   

Inspirational role models from the SailGP team and 1851 Trust will be on hand to answer questions, while local employers including Schneider Electric, City Fibre and City College Plymouth will showcase the job opportunities available to Plymouth’s young people in the future.

Find out more here

SailGP Inspire Careers and Racing candidates announced ahead of Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth

With less than a week to go, activities in and around the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix are ramping up with local youth taking centre stage.

Collaborations with the University of Plymouth and City College Plymouth, which is supporting the event with Future Fit Field Gun, have produced an exciting cohort of 16 students taking part in SailGP’s Inspire Careers program. Furthermore, the Inspire Racing program will see 32 local youth participate in an on-water showcase of skills - sharing the close-to-shore racecourse of the supercharged F50 catamarans - for sold out crowds gathering at Plymouth Hoe on July 17-18. 

Find out more here

A Race For The Future: SailGP becomes first sport to integrate positive impact into its global league

SailGP, the first climate-positive sport and entertainment property, today announced the launch of the Impact League – a world-first, integrated initiative designed to make sustainability action essential to the fabric of sport and to accelerate the transition to clean energy, in order to help mitigate climate change.

Throughout SailGP’s second season, spanning 2021-22, a second leaderboard will be created and the eight international teams – that take part in the most exciting racing on-water – will be rewarded for the positive actions they make to reduce their overall carbon footprint and help accelerate inclusivity in sailing. Ultimately racing for purpose, as well as for sport.  

Find out more here

Brunel Plaza

Check out new designs for Brunel Plaza

Commuters, travellers and nearby residents are being invited to check out the latest designs for the new car park and plaza planned for Plymouth’s railway station.

A consultation is due to start today for people give their thoughts on the latest plans for the car park, which is earmarked for a site on the eastern side of the main station complex, in advance of a formal planning application which is programmed to be submitted at the end of August this year.

It’s also a chance to see proposals for the front of the station which looks set to be completely transformed from a narrow road overshadowed by a dark and dingy concrete car park to an airy pedestrianised plaza.

The designs are the latest to be worked up as part of the city’s ambitious plan to create a better welcome to Plymouth via this important gateway.

A number of significant changes are well underway. Demolition contractors are clearing out Intercity Place ahead of a significant refurbishment of the building by the University of Plymouth. Work on the concourse and gateway is also ongoing. The driver simulator building has also been moved.

The focus of this next consultation event is the design for the new multi-storey car park which - subject to planning permission - could be operational by mid-2024, if all goes to plan.

Find out more here

Market Hall Immersive Dome

Europe's 'first of its kind' 360 dome launches £7.6 million immersive technology hub

A £7.6million transformative regeneration programme, set to put Plymouth, England, on the global map as a leader in immersive technology came to fruition yesterday as Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, joined creative leaders from across the country to formally open the city’s Grade II listed Market Hall.

In addition, linking this building’s significant past to its cutting-edge future, today will see the unveiling of a prestigious blue plaque in commemoration of major 18th century European painter and founder of the Royal Academy of Arts, Sir Joshua Reynolds, who had his studio on this site. 

Find out more here

St Budeaux Interchange

Share your views on plans to improve public transport and cycling links at St Budeaux

A revamped St Budeaux Square is set to be the focal point for ambitious new plans unveiled by Plymouth City Council to help curb emissions by making travelling around the city greener and cleaner.

The Council has launched a consultation on proposals to improve bus stops, railways stations and cycling links in St Budeaux to turn it into a busy transport interchange. The proposals also aim to upgrade the High Street and offer more sustainable transport options by increasing the frequency of trains and improving connections with local buses and cycle routes.

Due to finish by March 2023, the scheme is part of the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan. It is funded by the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) which aims to make it easier for residents and commuters to walk, cycle and use public transport when they travel around Plymouth and surrounding area.

The consultation is running between 19 July and 29 August 2021.

Find out more here

James Mackenzie-Blackman

James Mackenzie-Blackman named Chief Executive of Theatre Royal Plymouth

Theatre Royal Plymouth has announced that James Mackenzie-Blackman will succeed Adrian Vinken OBE as its Chief Executive.

Currently Chief Executive of Eden Court Highlands, Scotland’s largest single-site performing arts venue, James Mackenzie-Blackman’s previous roles include Executive Director of Matthew Bourne’s award-winning dance company New Adventures, Executive Director of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and six years in a variety of roles at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith.

James Mackenzie-Blackman grew up in Plymouth and cites his time with Theatre Royal Plymouth’s long-established Young Company as a life-defining experience.

Under James Mackenzie-Blackman’s leadership, Eden Court has been internationally recognised for its industry leading response to the global pandemic. The organisation was a winner of the inaugural Calouste Gulbenkian 2021 Civic Arts Award.

Find out more here

Plymouth College of Art RfQ

Expertise required to deliver iMayflower Project Tech & Business Bootcamp and Enterprise Incubation Programme

Plymouth College of Art is currently reviewing the provision of External Expertise Services for the Smart Citizens Tech & Business Bootcamp and the Ignite Business Programme and has issued a formal Request for Quotation. 

Plymouth is one of only five cities across the UK to be in receipt of investment from the Cultural Development Fund (CDF). CDF is a new funding programme from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England. It is designed to allow cities and towns to invest in creative, cultural and heritage initiatives that lead to culture-led economic growth and productivity.

iMayflower is helping Plymouth shout about its culture and creativity offer, develop along term, sustainable legacy and provide skills and learning opportunities through events and community engagement. We are also supporting creative sector businesses to become more visible on an international stage.

The RfQ, which contains full information is available here, and the deadline for submissions has been extended to Sunday 25 July 11.59pm. 

Find out more here

Manufacturing Barometer

Opportunity for SME manufacturers to call for sector support that suits their specific needs

The UK's largest quarterly survey of SME manufacturers uncovers trends in past performance and future predictions to call for support that addresses the needs of businesses across the sector.

This quarter's special focus explores factors that could inhibit growth, and asks respondents how they are planning to overcome these challenges.

*Open for responses until Friday 23 July 2021*

Why contribute?

Exclusively for SME manufacturing companies, this survey offers a valuable platform to make your voice heard.

Results are shared with a number of key stakeholders, including local and national government, to call for support that's specifically tailored to SMEs - your input could help shape future industrial strategies that benefit your business.

The Manufacturing Barometer should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete

Take part in the survey

Bates Development Service

Construction consultancy, Bates Development Services, make the move to Plymouth Science Park

After a successful year of business growth, Bates Development Services Ltd (BDS) is the latest firm to join the thriving business community at Plymouth Science Park.

Founded in 2018 by experienced Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager, Tom Bates. Bates Development Services specialise in bespoke construction consultancy within the health, education, commercial and residential sectors.

BDS played an important role in Plymouth’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and supported the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and Derriford Hospital during periods of extreme pressure by refurbishing wards to enable extra capacity for critical care and acute dependency patients.

The move to the Science Park provides BDS with a decisive step forward for BDS with an increased regional presence to promote further growth within a community of synergetic businesses and support services already based at the Park.

Find out more here

Accelerating Women's Enterprise

News about the Accelerating Women's Enterprise programme from Outset CIC

Read the July Outset CIC/Accelerating Women's Enterprise newsletter for news on their face-to-face workshops and online workshop programme, as well as success stories and how clients can get exclusive advance access to their new online training modules.

Find out more here


Thinking about becoming your own boss?

Are you based in Plymouth and thinking about starting a business or have recently started trading?  

Get in touch with Outset Enterprise Coaching to see how they can help with their free, fully funded support.

Email them at to find out more on eligibility, or call 0800 0286 754.

Register for their next foundation 'Intro to Business' webinar training series on 20 July here, and see further details below.


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

Intro to Starting your Own Business Webinar

This workshop is part of a series of 3 free training sessions designed to give you a solid foundation when planning to start, develop, grow and maintain a successful business.

This workshop will be really useful for those at the early stages of considering enterprising activities.

Our local advisors will share a blend of knowledge and experience to help attendees consider legal models, generate ideas, assess feasibility and onward action planning.

Find out more here

Grants/Funding opportunities

UK Fund for Digital Skills Initiatives Set to Launch

A new UK fund which will provide grants to organisations leading initiatives for adults impacted by the digital divide is set to open late June.

Applications will be accepted from:

  • Entrepreneurs, teams or organisations that want to apply their talent and technology to address UK vocational learning issues.
  • Start-ups, early-stage ventures or teams working within an existing large organisation and looking to develop a radically new approach.

The deadline for for entries is 29 July 2021.

Find out more here


Launch of £3m R&D Competition to Help Aviation Sector Reach Net Zero

The Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) Competition aims to accelerate the move towards sustainable flying, supporting the UK’s aviation sector to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Through the programme, funding is being provided to pioneer research into infrastructure that will enable the mass uptake of electric and hydrogen aircraft.

The deadline for entries is 1 August 2021

Find out more here


eBay for Business Awards Open for Entries

Financial awards and expert help are available to operators of eBay businesses to support the growth and development of their business. Operators of eBay businesses registered in the UK may apply.

The deadline for entries is 2 August 2021

Find out more here


Launch of £30m 5G Supply Chain Future Radio Access Network Competition

The Government has launched new a competition that support the goals of the its 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy. The aim is to fund innovative R&D projects across the UK, speeding up the adoption of a new breed of wireless communication technology - Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN). This technology allows equipment from multiple suppliers to be used in 5G networks and will end their current dependence on one company’s technology to function.

The deadline for entries is 27 August 2021.

Find out more here


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