Business News: Webinars &Useful Information: **Updated with Links**

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Business News: Webinars & Useful Information

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Digital Skills Week 26 - 30 April 2021.

Digital Skills Week

Daily talks and training to help you build new skills and achieve more, 26th – 30th April.

Microsoft are running a digital skills building week that could benefit yourselves, your employees and the Somerset general public please do help to promote this to everyone would can benefit from this.  The link is below.

Digital Skills Week - Microsoft UK


Community Renewal Fund – Somerset

Applications are now being invited for the Community Renewal Fund – Somerset. This is a new funding opportunity, launched by the government in the Budget in March.

The funding runs for one year and is intended to pave the way to the Shared Prosperity Fund due to be launched in 2022.

Somerset has the chance to bid for up to £12m of funding.  The County Council is the lead authority for Somerset and will be responsible for inviting, assessing, prioritising and submitting bids to government. 

Applications are invited from partners (including, but not limited to, businesses, voluntary and community groups, education and training providers, and district councils) for bids which must be submitted to government by 18 June 2021. Project proposals must be submitted to Somerset County Council by 10.00am on 10 May 2021.

The Fund aims to support people and communities across the UK most in need to pilot programmes and new approaches, and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

Projects – in both urban and rural areas – should align with four identified themes:

  • Investment in skills
  • Investment in local business
  • Investment in communities and place
  • Supporting people into employment. The funding is short-term with projects needing to be delivered by March 2022.A range of resources, including a recorded information event and presentations from workshops, application process are available on the dedicated Somerset County Council Community Renewal Fund webpage – this will be updated regularly.

Barclays: Rebuilding Thriving Economies - AgriTech a pertinent question - what's next?

Eagle Labs AgriTech

Rebuilding Thriving Local Economies

Tuesday, 18 May 2021 | 11:00 - 12:00


The Face of Agriculture is changing – How will AgriTech support you & are you ready to realise its full potential?

Today the Fourth Industrial Revolution is bringing exciting opportunities for farmers to increase productivity, protect the environment and make farming safer. 

Through the Eagle Labs AgriTech programme, we showcase innovations in a number of areas that have been created for, or can be applied to the agricultural industry. Our vision is to support UK agriculture and the food supply chain, to help it to become the most digitally-savvy farm force globally, and we do this through research, events, collaboration and projects to help the entire food supply chain, from farmer to retailer, understand how technology can support and accelerate their business.

To build on the launch of the Rebuilding Thriving Local Economies initiative for Taunton Deane, Barclays Eagle Labs are hosting this event to highlight the importance of innovation in the sector within the South West and across the UK. 

We have 3 guest speakers each of whom will touch on different themes and offer insight from a variety of businesses within the industry. On the panel we have Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser, CAAV, Dr. Catherine E.D Rees, Chief Scientific Officer, PBD Biotech and Rob Sanders, Co-Founder, Glas Data. Joining our guest speakers from Barclays we have Oliver McEntyre, National Strategy Director, Barclays Agriculture and Wendy Hewitson, AgriTech Programme Manager, Barclays Eagle Labs.

To find out more about our panel please click here. 

We really hope you are able to join us. To register, please click the button below by Friday, 14 May at 17:00. Details on how to access the webinar will be shared with you 24 hours prior to the event.  

Event Timings 


 Event Start


 Event Close

Register here

For further information please contact: Nadia Hassan Events, Roadshows & Hospitality

Somerset Business Recovery Survey 2021

Somerset’s five Local Authorities are jointly undertaking this vital survey to help us better understand and respond to local business needs, with a particular focus on the impacts that COVID-19 will have had on many businesses over the last 12 months.

By completing this survey, you will be providing much needed intelligence to help shape our approach to economic recovery in Somerset, including the support that businesses will be able to receive.

Should you wish to provide your details at the end of the survey, we will share the findings of this survey with you as soon as they are available. We may also be able to offer specific advice and support based on the responses you have given.

We know your time is precious, but the survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and your views could make a real difference.

Please be assured that your personal data will not be shared with anyone outside of Somerset’s local authorities and you will remain fully anonymous in any reporting.

To complete the survey, please click on the following link:

Somerset Business Recovery Survey 2021

If you have questions about the survey or wish to provide additional feedback, please email:

The Visitor Economy Support Programme (VESP)


Free 1-2-1 business support for visitor economy SMEs

The Visitor Economy Support Programme (VESP) is a programme that is funding FREE support services to visitor businesses, that focuses around the impact of Covid, business resilience and growth. This includes support with marketing communications including digital advice, and as part of this programme, the VESP scheme will be compiling sector specific research across visitor markets, that will provide valuable insight for Somerset businesses, assisting with forward planning and growth.   VESP aims to provide guidance and support to SME’s (0-249 employees) in the sectors of accommodation, retail, high street, food & drink, creative industries, heritage, visitor attractions, activity providers and outside visitor spaces.

Under the VESP scheme, Tomorrows Tourism are fielding a team of industry experts, with a range of specialist skill sets, that will be matched with businesses, identifying business goals, opportunities and challenges. A dedicated advisor will then work with each business to create a bespoke package of support to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.   To sign up to receive this business support please register on the Visit Exmoor/Visit Somerset link here:

Taunton Chamber of Commerce

Taunton Chamber of Commerce

Taunton Chamber of Commerce - Eventbrite Upcoming free webinars:

We exist to support and connect companies, bringing together local businesses and organisations to build new relationships, share best practice, foster new opportunities and provide practical support.

Because we sit at the heart of the local community, we are uniquely placed to help businesses of every size and sector to thrive. This includes the active role we undertake to improve the local commercial environment to the benefit of all.

We provide a respected voice to the Taunton business community, and the ability to present a critical mass of opinion ensures that the Chamber is taken seriously, and that therefore the business voice of Taunton is heard and understood.

Join us today! Call us on 01823 230898 to discuss membership, or easiest of all, complete your registration and pay your membership subscription online:

Federation of Small Businesses


Federation of Small Businesses -

a. Event Calendar: FSB Upcoming Business Webinars

Join us for our virtual events, including networking, business surgeries and webinars, designed to help you find advice, support and guidance for your small business during the COVID-19 pandemic. The events are free and open to all small businesses and the self-employed across the UK.

b. Federation of Small Businesses - Skills Hub:

Running your own business means you have to be an expert not only in your own field, but also in marketing, social media, accounting, HR - the list goes on! 

We have created the FSB skills hub to support you with the resources you need to ensure business continuity in the immediate future and for the longer term. 

Find answers to your legal questions, demystify the digital world, build a robust business model and unlock the potential of your FSB membership.


Stronger Somerset

District councils have welcomed chance to have a say on proposals for change to local government in Somerset 

Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has launched a consultation on proposals for reform of local government in Somerset. The 8-week consultation started on Monday 22 February and will run until Monday 19 April. All Somerset councils recognise that the current system does not work well enough.  

The Stronger Somerset proposal, put forward by the four district councils, sets out a plan for the county’s needs now and into the future to deliver better jobs, affordable homes, stronger communities and a carbon zero county.   

Stronger Somerset describes two new unitary authorities for the county, which it describes as small enough, so they know you and you know them, but big enough to be effective and economic. They will meet the needs of their local communities and work together for the benefit of the whole county.​ 

Western Somerset and Eastern Somerset have different characteristics, comprising distinct functional economic areas, travel to work areas and housing markets. In addition, there are complex varying needs of physical geography, climate, demographic divergence and connectivity. 

Stronger Somerset also recognises that its ambitions need to be supported by an ambitious and progressive devolution agenda that can help the county become a positive net contributor to the Exchequer. Stronger Somerset envisages a Combined Authority ready to deliver a themed devolution deal. Local government reorganisation is the first step on this journey. It identifies seven devolution themes: • Boosting business and productivity • Carbon neutrality and climate resilience • Delivering better digital connectivity • Transport infrastructure and physical connectivity • Improving skills and social mobility • Creating thriving places • Delivering sustainable housing development. Find out more about the Stronger Somerset proposal.  

To respond to the Government’s consultation, please click here  You can also respond by email or post.  

The Government is also consulting on Somerset County Council’s alternative proposal, One Somerset.