Latest Business news and updates for Plymouth businesses

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Plymouth business news

15 October 2021

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

  • Another milestone for regeneration of area around Plymouth station
  • New support to help Plymouth businesses and entrepreneurs flourish
  • Bigger better fish market on the cards
  • Exciting new plan launched for Plymouth’s Waterfront
  • Plymouth Start Up Weekend
  • Made in Devon
  • Tech South West Awards 2021 shortlist
  • Inspire Awards
  • Digital Boost Plymouth
  • Latest plans for West End Health and Wellbeing Centre unveiled
  • £100k funding boost for Plymouth arts organisations
  • Latest news from iMayflower
  • Latest news from Accelerating Women's Enterprise programme
  • Events
  • Funding streams/competitions
  • Get involved!

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

Train Station

Another milestone for regeneration of area around Plymouth station

The massive regeneration of the area around Plymouth Station has reached another milestone with the submission of a planning application for a new multi-storey car park.

Plymouth City Council is submitting the application for the structure which aims to be more modern and accessible than the current concrete car park opposite the station entrance.

The new car park will have:

  • 460 parking spaces arranged over six storeys
  • EV charging facilities with capability to expand as demand increases in the future
  • A new mobility hub which will offer more transport choices to reduce private car use. This could include electric bikes, electric vehicles available for hire, bike parking, lockers for delivery and storage
  • Disabled and family parking spaces

Should the scheme be given the go-ahead, the car park will be built to the east of Intercity House on the site of the former RISC building.

Find out more here

Plymouth aerial

New support to help Plymouth businesses and entrepreneurs flourish

New support from Plymouth City Council is set to help businesses get back on their feet and give entrepreneurs the support they need to get going.

Four brand-new projects will offer businesses a lifeline and support Plymouth’s economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

The aim is to create 50 new jobs, 27 new social enterprises and support more than 140 individual businesses. This will involve helping individuals into self-employment or guiding them as they set up new businesses, as well as supporting existing businesses looking to ‘relaunch’ after the interruption caused by coronavirus.

Each of the four business support programmes has its own specific focus:

  • Business Start-up Support: Offering advice and support for new business start-ups or re-starts, including workshops, 1 to 1 support sessions and access to a Business Start-up Specialist
  • Inspirational Entrepreneurship Programme: Designed to increase entrepreneurship, individuals, sole traders and new businesses will be given access to a Community Enterprise Advisor and flexible support that meets their needs
  • Digital Pivot Programme: Helping businesses to adopt new digital solutions and adapt to new challenges posed by coronavirus, this will include free workshops and 1 to 1 advice for business owners
  • Social Enterprise Support: Supporting those looking to set up social enterprises with advice, provided through 1 to 1 sessions, group workshops and drop in ‘surgeries’.

Find out more here

Fish Market

Bigger better fish market on the cards

Plymouth could get a bigger, better Fish Market at Sutton Harbour under plans being discussed with the fishing industry and key stakeholders.

Council Leader Nick Kelly called a round table discussion over two days to meet with the industry, discuss the current facilities and listen to the views of the fishers and the shore-based fishing community who run their businesses from there.

The meetings will help further shape ideas for a major redevelopment of the Fish Quay at Plymouth Fisheries in Sutton Harbour which will keep Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City as a major port of English fishing.

Aspirations to improve this facility have been discussed for many years, but we are now at a key time to progress these plans with the operators of the fish market, traders, site owners Sutton Harbour Group and fishers.

Find out more here

Aerial view of Plymouth

Exciting new plan launched for Plymouth’s Waterfront

Improving economic prosperity, enhancing the environment and increasing footfall: Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District (PWP BID) has shared its plan to achieve all these aims with the launch of a new business plan for 2022 to 2027.

PWP BID currently represents around 900 businesses located all around the edge of the city’s Waterfront from Mount Batten to Royal William Yard and Millbay, encompassing the Barbican, Bretonside, Sutton Harbour and Plymouth Hoe.

The new business plan, BID3, sets out a new ambitious vision for the Waterfront area: ‘Creating the Waterfront of Tomorrow, Today!’

Find out more here

Start Up Weekend

Creative minds and businesses collaborate to champion Marine in Plymouth

12 to 14 November 2021

Led by the University of Plymouth and part of the globally renowned Techstars Startup Weekend movement, Plymouth Startup Weekend is back this November to support aspiring entrepreneurs.

In collaboration with local business leaders and experts from the thriving South West marine industry, this next edition will support new and innovative marine-themed ideas to emerge and come to life in Plymouth. Participants will be focusing on solving problems and filling gaps related to marine technology, renewables, cruise and leisure marine to boatbuilding, shipping, marine engineering and more...

Beginning with Friday night idea pitches, the event continues through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, culminating in Sunday night pitches to a panel of judges including Richard May from Plymouth City Council, Professor Richard Thompson and Jo Royle, CEO of Common Seas.

To find out more, watch the highlights video from the last event or, visit the event page here.

This event 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.

Made in Devon

Made in Devon

Made in Devon is a major new buy local scheme and part of Devon’s COVID-19 Economy and Business Recovery Prospectus.

Buying from locally owned, independent businesses benefits our communities, the economy, and the environment.

The vision for Made in Devon is to bring long-term, sustainable prosperity to the region. This will be done by encouraging sales and consumption of Devon products & services, supporting local businesses and establishing Devon as a source of quality local products and services.

During lockdown, consumer support for buying local grew significantly. This scheme aims to build on this shift in consumer habits and support Devon businesses to collaborate, grow and become more resilient through the changes brought about by the COVID pandemic and EU exit.

Made in Devon is run by Devon Country Council and is part of Trading Standard’s well-established Buy with Confidence trusted trader scheme.

Find out more here

Tech South West

Tech South West Awards 2021 shortlist

Now in their third year, the Tech South West Awards celebrate the best in tech from across the South West including Bath, Bristol, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

We would like to congratulate Plymouth businesses Pixalytics for their shortlisting of two categories Clean Tech and Future Tech Awards, and Ocean Ecology and Babcock International for their shortlisting in the Marine Tech Awards

The winners will be announced at the live ceremony on November 25 at The Market Hall, Plymouth.

Find out more here

Inspire Business Awards

Inspire Awards

Entries are now open for the Inspire Business Awards, which showcases the fantastic, ambitious businesses based across the South West of England.

These awards will be somewhat different from pre pandemic ones in that some categories will focus specifically on the achievements of many businesses in responding to the particular challenges faced by us all over the last year and a half, as well as those which will face us in the coming years, such as the need to work towards a lower carbon economy and to have a positive impact our communities.

Entries are now open, and we encourage Plymouth's fantastic businesses to get involved. The deadline for entries is on 14 January 2022.

Find out more here

Digital Boost

Digital Boost Plymouth

Plymouth City Council and COSMIC are working in partnership to deliver a 6-month business support project, Digital Boost Plymouth.  

Digital Boost Plymouth offers free, fully funded digital skills training to all businesses based in the Plymouth City Council area, until March 31 2022. 

A broad range of high-quality, digital skills training is available right now. 

1:1 digital skills training and advice are provided, tailored specifically to your business’ needs.   

An extensive range of valuable digital training workshops is offered, designed to increase your digital skills and know how. Topics include: 

  • Developing Your Digital Marketing  
  • E-Commerce 
  • Website Design & Search Engine Optimisation  
  • Staying Cyber Secure 
  • Productivity, Collaboration and Remote Working with Microsoft 365

To sign up to this free support, you simply need to email or call 03300 883005 confirming you are a business (including charities, CICs and social enterprises) based in Plymouth, UK. 

You can sign-up to the workshops here

West End Health and Wellbeing Centre

Latest plans for West End Health and Wellbeing Centre unveiled

The latest plans for the proposed West End Health and Wellbeing Centre in Plymouth have been unveiled – and local people are being invited to have their say.

Plymouth City Council and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group are working on plans for a new, purpose-built health, care and wellbeing centre in the West End, near Colin Campbell Court. The centre would include a range of services all under one roof in a convenient location.

The new building would not only provide a much-needed modern health and wellbeing facility, it would also help kick-start the regeneration of the area. Having GPs, dental care professionals, nurses, mental health service providers, other professionals and the voluntary sector working in a single setting opens up great new prospects for joined-up, seamless care.

Find out more here

Plymouth Arts Cinema

Plymouth Arts Cinema welcomes new Board Chair

The Board of Directors of Plymouth Arts Cinema announces the appointment of Paul Brookes as new Board Chair, effective as of October 7 2021. Paul Brookes was Chief Executive of The Box/Plymouth Museum from 2014 until 2021, presiding over the opening of Plymouth’s £47m cultural attraction The Box in 2020. 

Plymouth Arts Cinema will bid farewell to Andrew Brewerton, who will step down as Chair after a decade. Brewerton steered with unyielding commitment and a steady hand during a turbulent period, enabling the organisation to make the transition from Plymouth Arts Centre to Plymouth Arts Cinema, and moving from its original Looe Street location to a new, purpose-built independent cinema at Plymouth College of Art. 

Prof. Brewerton stepped down from his position as Principal & Chief Executive of Plymouth College of Art this year, after 11 years of service to the independent art school. 

Find out more here

Plymouth Arts Cinema screens new independent cinema from all around the world, as well as classics and mainstream releases, and community screenings, festivals, events, and special guests from the film industry. The programme is handpicked by Director and Film Programmer Anna Navas. The current programme can be viewed here:

Oliver Beer - Household Gods BAS9

£100k funding boost for Plymouth arts organisations

Leading arts organisations based in Plymouth have secured a £100,000 grant from Arts Council England to support the city’s hosting of British Art Show 9 (BAS9). The funding award comes just as the twelve month countdown to the prestigious exhibition begins.

The British Art Show is a landmark touring exhibition that celebrates the vitality of recent art made in Britain. Organised every five years by Hayward Gallery Touring, the exhibition brings the work of artists who are defining new directions in contemporary art to four different cities across the UK. Working in partnership with Plymouth Culture, BAS9 will be shown across four city venues – The Box, KARST, The Levinsky Gallery at the University of Plymouth and MIRROR at Plymouth College of Art from 8 October – 23 December 2022.

When British Art Show 7 came to Plymouth in 2011 it was the first time the city had staged a multi-site exhibition on such a large scale. It received more than 75,000 visits, with a further 15,000 people taking part in events, education activities and Fringe programmes.

The new £100,000 grant will enable the partners to carry out some detailed audience research in the run up to BAS9, support a series of artist-led engagement activities with schools, fund invigilators to enhance the visitor experience once the exhibition is on display, and create talent development opportunities for local artists as well as a talks and events programme.

Find out more here


Latest news from iMayflower

Plymouth is a creative city with a proud track record and growing international reputation for creative digital and immersive tech. We have come together through iMayflower to ensure that Plymouth makes the most of this platform for the benefit of current and future generations living, studying and working here. 

In case you missed it, the latest iMayflower digest includes:

  • Cultural experiences: The Hatchling; Illuminate Festival
  • Local Talent: IGNITE digital platform
  • Sustainability and Innovation: Fab City hubs; Protecting Plymouth's wildflower meadows through digital design; Sustainable housing with 3D printing pioneers WASP; Fab Lab helping local people better understand the environment
  • Strengthening Local Talent: Innovative Placements Scheme; Real Ideas’ Digital Badges; Smart Citizens Programme.

Read the full digest here

To receive regular updates about iMayflower, sign up here.

Latest news from Accelerating Women's Enterprise programme

The October Accelerating Women's Enterprise newsletter includes:

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


Let's take your business into orbit: Marketing Bootcamp

Outset CIC / Accelerating Women's Enterprise | Outset CIC, PL1 3DX | 18 to 20 Oct, 15 to 17 Nov, 1 to 6 Dec

This bootcamp is being run by Dr Liz Ratcliffe who will provide you with all her top tips and ideas for getting your marketing strategy right and the tools that will work for your business. Liz brings over 25 years-experience of working in marketing, sales and business development.

Find out more here


Show Me The Money

POP Ideas | Devonport Guildhall, PL1 4EL | 19 October

This workshop is all about how to finance and fund your social enterprise or community project. We'll cover social investment, grant funding, community shares, crowdfunding and more. 

Find out more here


Make a Laser Cut Litter Picker: 2-Part Workshop

Smart Citizens Programme | Fab Lab Plymouth, PL4 8AT | 20 & 27 October

Become an environmental champion and create your very own biodegradable wooden litter picker with the Smart Citizens team! Over this two-part workshop for beginners, you will develop new skills in digital design and digital fabrication techniques, and explore how sustainable design techniques can be used to protect the environment.

Find out more here


Stray Finds: Fab Lab Plymouth Tour

Smart Citizens Programme | Fab Lab Plymouth, PL4 8AT | 23 October

Join the Smart Citizens team, artist Mohini Chandra and local archaeology team, the SHIPS Project, in this special tour of Fab Lab Plymouth as part of the Stray Finds event at Plymouth College of Art.

Find out more here


B Corp Workshops

University of Plymouth | Sustainability Hub | 26 October, 9, 23 November, 7 December

Would you like to use business as a force for good and join the growing local and global B Corp movement?

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

Register for this series of practical workshops which will introduce and guide you through the B Corp certification process – the B Impact Assessment and the five key areas;

  • Governance
  • Customers 
  • Environment
  • Community 
  • Workers.

Find out more here


Building Plymouth 'Meet the city buyers'

Building Plymouth | PL1, City College Plymouth, PL1 5QG | 9 November

The construction community is invited to meet with the city's public sector clients in order to better understand the market opportunities ahead for the next three to five years, and to be informed of the latest procurement strategies and project timelines.

Places are limited, so register your interest by emailing


Techstars Startup Weekend Marine Plymouth

University of Plymouth | University of Plymouth, PL4 8AA | 12 to 14 November

In collaboration with local business leaders and experts from the thriving South West marine industry, we're inviting creative people from across Plymouth, AND BEYOND, to join us for a Startup Weekend with a focus on Marine! This event will support new and innovative marine-themed ideas to emerge and come to life in Plymouth.

Find out more here


Social Enterprise City Festival

PSEN | 15 to 26 November

PSEN’s upcoming Social Enterprise Festival for 2021 is aiming to highlight this and the amazing work being carried out locally. We are looking for local active projects, groups or organisations who are taking action towards one or more of the 17 SDGs to showcase what you are up to through running a workshop, event, talk or participatory session at this year’s Festival. This could be anything from a 1-hour event to a half-day workshop.

Could this be you? Would you like to add to Plymouth’s story of progressive change and showcase how you are making a difference whilst engaging new audiences?

We are looking to demonstrate what we need to do, why it’s important and how to take local action towards the global goals. If this sounds like you, we’d love to hear from you!

Please get in touch via

Find out more here

Grants/Funding opportunities

Industry of Future Programme: Industrial Sites Scoping Study Competition - Deadline Extended

The Industry of Future Programme aims to support companies with high carbon emission and energy use to transition to a low-carbon future through increased energy efficiency and implementation of decarbonisation technologies. The programme will look for sites outside the ‘Industrial clusters’, dispersed sites, and industrial collaboration in local areas.

The Government proposes to allocate up to £30 million to cover the whole Industry of Future Programme. Up to £4 million is planned to procure the Scoping Study contractor to develop industrial decarbonisation roadmaps for the industrial sites, including data centres.

The Registration and Application deadlines have been extended to 14 October and 29 October 2021 respectively.

Find out more here


Ofwat Launches Water Breakthrough Challenge 2

The Water Breakthrough Challenge has been created to reward businesses developing innovative solutions to the water sector's biggest environmental challenges, benefiting society and the environment.

The current competition is called ‘Breakthrough 2’, comprising two streams of funding. Through the Catalyst Stream, approximately £5 million is available for entries seeking funding of between £100,000 and £1 million. Through the Transform Stream, approximately £30 million is available for entries seeking funding of between £1 million and £10 million per entry.

The deadline for the Catalyst Stream is 8 December 2021. The Stage 1 deadline for the Transform Stream is 16 November 2021.

Find out more here


Advance Notice of IUK’s Biomedical Catalyst 2021 Round 2: Feasibility & Primer Awards

Through this Biomedical Catalyst competition, Innovate UK is investing in businesses developing innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes.

The competition will explore and evaluate the commercial potential of an innovative scientific idea or carry out a technical evaluation through to proof-of-concept in a model system. Projects must focus on the development of a product or process that is an innovative solution to a health and care challenge.

IUK has allocated up to £12 million to fund innovation projects in this competition. Each project’s total eligible costs must be between £50,000 and £1 million.

The competition opens on 18 October 2021 and closes on 1 December 2021.

Find out more here


IUK Launches Circular Economy for SMEs - Innovating with the NICER Programme

Through this Innovate UK (IUK) competition, businesses and their partners can access funding to support feasibility studies, industrial research and experimental development projects that address the challenges of transitioning to a circular economy.

Applications will be accepted from UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) businesses. Businesses may work alone or in partnership with other businesses of any size, academic institutions, research and technology organisations (RTOs), public sector organisations or not-for-profit organisations. Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

The deadline for applications is 8 December 2021.

Find out more here


IUK Announces 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 £100,000 and £500,000 and can be single or collaborative. For those with a duration between 19 and 36 months, the total eligible project costs will be between £100,000 and £2 million and must be collaborative.

The competition opens on 7 October 2021 and closes on 5 January 2022.

Find out more here

Get involved!

Share with us

As we are getting back to face-to-face meetings and holding events in a covid-safe manner, we would love to see others doing the same. Please share with us by tagging us on Twitter @InvestPlymouth or on Linkedin Economic Development @ Plymouth City Council.

Submit your events

You can also share your event FREE on our website, just simply fill in the event submission form.

How your business is adapting to greener solutions

We encourage people to email us at with stories on what they are doing within their business to make tomorrow better than today, by thinking about their environmental benefit. Our business community of almost 8,000 subscribers, are keen to hear how your business has started its journey, seen success or innovated how you do business to adapt new greener solutions?

Find out more about Plymouth's Climate Emergency Action Plan


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