Survive, Sustain and Grow – supporting post Covid-19 business recovery in Warwickshire
Warwickshire County Council has launched a major new £300,000 business support programme to help SMEs in the county recover from the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The “Survive, Sustain and Grow” programme is part of an initial £5 million package of investment which has been approved by Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet to help businesses on the road to recovery and boost the economy.
This new and free initiative will provide an enhanced business consultancy service to assist businesses with their post-Covid-19 recovery plans.
It is open to all micro and small enterprises based in Warwickshire and will offer a tailored recovery support package through its network of specialist consultants.
They will assist in developing and delivering a robust business framework that will identify key stages, challenges, opportunities and potential access to grant funding for businesses to consider as they progress towards succeeding post-Covid-19.
All support will be provided free of charge and will look to engage with companies in all business sectors but there will be a particular focus on retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “SMEs are the backbone of the economy and the County Council moved quickly to put aside an initial £5 million to invest in funding which is needed now to help these businesses survive.
“We particularly wanted to design a funding scheme which would support the sectors most affected by Covid-19 as well as add value to other programmes.
“We have launched the Survive, Sustain and Grow programme to complement existing County Council and other sub-regional business support programmes – which focus on business growth. These offer bespoke, in-depth business advice and mentoring to small businesses facing new demands and challenges on an unprecedented scale due to Covid-19 including, for many owners, the survival and sustainability of their business.
“It has also been designed to dovetail with existing business support programmes by focusing on the retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors – some of the sectors most affected by Covid-19 – which have such a high presence in our county.
“Just as companies have weathered other economic downturns, we can all work together to survive this and we believe the Survive, Sustain and Grow scheme will have a significant role to play in helping businesses in our county to start planning for the future with more optimism.”
For further information, please visit Warwickshire County Council’s website at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/directory-record/6451/survive-sustain-and-grow-supporting-post-covid-19-business-recovery-in-warwickshire to find out more about how to implement the free Survive, Sustain and Grow strategy.
Warwickshire businesses urged to apply for new County Council and Government grants
Small businesses in Warwickshire hit by the Coronavirus pandemic can apply for new grants from the County Council and the Government to boost their recovery.
Warwickshire County Council is launching a new £250,000 grant fund dedicated to supporting the retail and hospitality sectors in Warwickshire.
Small and micro businesses in these sectors can apply for grants between £2,000 to £7,500 to put towards the costs of capital investments.
This could be refurbishing or refitting property to increase footfall or improve visitors’ experiences, creating an online sales presence, investing in dedicated IT and computer software or the purchase of minor equipment.
The capital investments must be part of a plan to sustain and grow the businesses, as well as to safeguard existing jobs.
The Covid-19 Retail and Hospitality Recovery and Investment Fund is part of an initial £5 million support package from Warwickshire County Council to boost immediate economic recovery in the county.
In addition, the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub is administering £188,000 granted to Coventry and Warwickshire as part of the Government’s £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package, which is specifically for tourism businesses.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “The launch of these grant programmes will be welcome news for SMEs across Warwickshire and the combination of the two initiatives strengthens an already strong support package.
“The new Retail and Hospitality Fund is being launched as part of our multi-million pound package of support for businesses and we hope the fund will stimulate growth and sustain businesses across the county.
“A wide range of sectors are covered across the County Council and Government grant programmes, with support available for some of the sectors which have been hit the hardest by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We would urge businesses to get in touch with the County Council or the CWLEP Growth Hub to take advantage of these grants and get the help they require to take the next steps in their recovery and, in turn, provide a boost to the region’s economy.”
Small businesses in the retail and hospitality sector in Warwickshire should visit WCC’s website for more information on how to apply: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/directory-record/6450/covid-19-retail-and-hospitality-recovery-and-investment-fund
Applications are open from 24th August 2020 and the deadline for this first round of funding will be announced shortly. We will continue publicising new rounds until all of the fund has been allocated.
SMEs can apply for the Government grant from the end of August by visiting: www.cwgrowthhub.co.uk
This scheme is being fully funded by the Government from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
Revealed: the new look for 2021 UK City of Culture
Coventry City of Culture Trust has unveiled a new brand for the upcoming year-long programme, Coventry Moves, which now gets underway in May 2021.
Warwickshire businesses have been urged to sign up to regular email updates from the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 team on their new-look website to stay up-to-date about the opportunities which will be announced in due course.
Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture will commence in May 2021 with a programme created with national and local partners including major international artistic events, world premieres and commissions across theatre, music, dance, literature, comedy, visual art, festivals, and conferences.
This will include a signature city-wide event celebrating the story of Coventry directed by the internationally-renowned Nigel Jamieson and co-Artistic Director of Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre Justine Themen, co-created alongside thousands of residents.
The creative vision of Coventry Moves is brought to life in the vibrant new brand design, website and a powerful film telling the story of Coventry’s history, featuring two Coventry-born artists – Grammy and Golden Globe nominated composer Clint Mansell, who provided the score, alongside a voiceover by actress Manjinder Virk.
It highlights Coventry as a city of welcome, a city of activists and pioneers, a city of peace and reconciliation, a city of innovation and invention, and now a City of Culture – in which Warwickshire County Council is a Principal Partner.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “Warwickshire County Council is delighted to be a major partner in what promises to be a spectacular year, which will help to bring new life back into the tourism and cultural sector of the region after all the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is a great opportunity for businesses in the county, particularly those in the tourism industry. Visitors won’t just be travelling to Coventry, they will be keen to explore the wider Warwickshire area; we need to maximise the opportunities which will arise.”
Laura McMillan, Director of Operations and Legacy at Coventry City of Culture Trust, who led on the brand work for the Trust, said: “It's a major milestone on our journey to be launching the new brand. Coventry Moves has been developed alongside partners and communities across the city following hours of consultation with thousands of people since this adventure began back in 2015. Our year as UK City of Culture allows us to tell our city’s story, and use everything that makes Coventry unique to shape its future.”
All aspects of the campaign were creatively developed in partnership with Uncommon Creative Studio.
Further details of the 365-day cultural programme will be announced later this year.
The new Coventry 2021 logo revealed as the city prepares for UK City of Culture
Major County Schemes Given Green Light
The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) has agreed its priority list of infrastructure projects to receive Government funding as part of the Getting Building Fund including £8.1 million of projects in Warwickshire.
The CWLEP Warwickshire Projects Review Panel considered 21 projects totalling £21.6 million which was whittled down to a final list of eight Warwickshire projects including four from Warwickshire County Council.
The projects across the sub-region which have been given the green light are:
· Supporting a large-scale green development at the Stratford-upon-Avon Riverside Green Corridor, an ambitious Warwickshire Cycle Links Project to invest in cycling infrastructure across Warwickshire, the Warwickshire Green Recovery Project to encourage the uptake of electric mobility, and innovation in future mobility through Very Light Rail
· Town and city centre modernisation through investment in housing, cultural assets, health and care provision, and repurposing of commercial, retail and leisure space in Coventry, Rugby, Nuneaton, Royal Leamington Spa and Stratford-Upon-Avon including Caldecott Square, Rugby, Catalyst - Nuneaton Town Centre, and Commonwealth Economic Legacy at Ricoh Arena, Coventry
· Improvements through investment in skills across construction, digital, creative and hospitality sectors including Completing the Cultural Capital for UK City of Culture 2021, Stratford-upon-Avon College Culture, Media & Construction Assets, Holly Walk Digital Creative Office Space in Leamington and North Warwickshire and Nuneaton Arts Challenge Fund
· Digital connectivity which will be improved through further investment in 5G testbed
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “This is really good news for all of Warwickshire. It will support schemes across the whole of the county that are absolutely linked in to the priorities of our council plan.
“There is funding to support our ambitions for infrastructure that will enable and promote cycling and active travel, as well as money to support schemes promoting the use of electric vehicles as we move towards our aim of a more sustainable future.
“Schemes aimed at regenerating town centres in line with our plans for economic recovery are given substantial backing and an allocation has been made to support colleges and places of learning in upskilling our workforce. Funding will also support the creation of vibrant centres for our growing gaming industry, putting in place plans that will give sustainable employment opportunities.
“We will be looking at how we can quickly make best use of this funding so that we can reap the benefits as soon as possible.”
Eat Out to Help Out
Restaurants and pubs across Warwickshire have been benefiting from the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August.
The scheme launched on Monday, August 3 and has seen customers flocking to eat at their favourite local eateries.
It comes after the launch of Warwickshire County Council’s #BuyEatLocal social media campaign, which has urged people to support local businesses in their nearby towns.
Stratford restaurant 33TheScullery was one of many to engage in the #BuyEatLocal campaign.
The British cuisine restaurant, which employs around 10 people, has been open for six years on Greenhill Street and was a latecomer to the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
It is owned by Andrew Edwards and Carl Pritchard and they backed #BuyEatLocal to build on their commitment to supporting local producers.
Andrew said: “We’ve always looked to use local suppliers where we can. There is some great produce on our doorstep here in Stratford, we trust in it and it’s honest on the plate.
“We actually didn’t take up Eat Out to Help Out until mid-August but it has been really good and the restaurant has been full most nights.
“At this time of the year we are used to being full with international tourists, however that isn’t possible at the moment and the scheme has encouraged more domestic tourists and local people to join us for a meal.
“It hasn’t affected our weekend trade which has stayed strong, the scheme has been an uplift to the town and Stratford has been busy every evening.
“Lockdown was difficult for us, as it was for all in the sector, but our takeaway menu was a huge success and helped us to tick over. We’ve now been able to bring most of furloughed staff back on board too.”
Café on the Hill, based on Coleshill High Street, was set up in January 2019 by husband and wife duo Tina and Dale Glastonbury.
The café engaged in the #BuyEatLocal scheme and had been open just over a year when lockdown struck.
It was one of a group of businesses to join forces to provide a package of goods for people looking to have home celebrations during lockdown. The café has also been involved in Eat Out to Help Out since the beginning.
Tina said: “It’s certainly been busier with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. We’ve seen people we haven’t seen before and had regulars coming back.
“The scheme has definitely helped us to keep our heads above water.
“We have tried different things in lockdown such as delivering afternoon teas, and joining with other businesses in the town to create packages for lockdown celebrations, such as cancelled weddings.
“Local businesses in Coleshill have really come together to support each other in these difficult times.”
Free online business workshops
A series of free workshops will be run by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce this month as part of the Warwickshire start-up programme which has been extended by the County Council to cater for demand.
The Chamber’s Start-Up Support team has organised six seminars online due to Covid-19 as part of the start-up service and they are designed to lead on from each other, but people are encouraged to book for the workshops which they feel will boost their business ideas and businesses.
To be eligible, businesses must have been registered for less than 12 months and be (or plan to be) located in Warwickshire or Coventry.
The sessions kick-off on Tuesday, September 1 with a masterclass in email marketing and Mailchimp and will finish on Wednesday, September 30 with a workshop focusing on Thinking of Starting a Business which will cover the challenges of being self-employed as well as business structures and compliance, both starting at 9.30am.
The sessions include something for all business owners – those wanting to brush up on their social media skills will benefit from a LinkedIn Masterclass with Gus Bhandal on Thursday, September 3 while there is also a focus on branding with Jess Hain and Christina Newman on Tuesday, September 8 which both take place from 9.30am-1.30pm.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “Warwickshire’s support to businesses throughout the pandemic has been all-encompassing. As businesses are looking to get back to something approaching usual practice, the support they need has shifted from emergency response to forward thinking.
“These workshops will allow them to build on the last few weeks of being able to reopen and actually look to the future. This is a great chance to develop the skills needed not just to bounce back but to bounce forward and be in a stronger position than they were before the pandemic.”
For a full list of the Chamber’s workshops in September and to book a free place, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/coventry-and-warwickshire-chamber-of-commerce-start-up-support-11874476531
The Warwickshire start-up programme is delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce as part of the “CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale” project which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Warwickshire County Council and all five District & Borough Councils.
Start-up is food and drink to local firms
Two businesses have found the recipe for success after receiving support from the Warwickshire start-up programme delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
After two years of planning, furloughed office manager Katie Keates from Atherstone officially launched The Real Cake Company in March from her kitchen – just days before the Coronavirus pandemic struck the country.
The 31-year-old baking enthusiast bakes a range of cupcakes, brownies and celebration cakes, and, in April, she tripled the number of orders she had forecast – serving up around 120 orders.
The company’s customer base is continuing to grow and Katie is working with local cafes and businesses to develop her wholesale and corporate services.
Prior to launching her business, Katie was assisted by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, as part of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale Programme, part funded by the Eu-ropean Regional Development Fund, Warwickshire County Council and the district & borough councils.
Warwickshire County Council has agreed an extension to the start-up programme with the Cham-ber to cater for high demand across the region.
Kate said: “My business adviser told me to ask myself two key questions - why do I want to run a business? And what do I want people to say about my business?
“From then I realised that I wanted to focus on making cakes that people can enjoy at an afforda-ble price, and to have a business that is flexible around my family life - the meeting I had with the Chamber was a lightbulb moment for me. From then on, the regular Chamber meetings were around financial forecasting and how I was going to market my business and that stood me in good stead for my launch.”
Keely Hancox, from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “Most people often encounter hurdles early on in their business venture, and Katie’s story is a reminder that with the right professional guidance, turning an idea into a reality is possible.”
Start-up businesses are able to gain free support from the Chamber of Commerce; covering all aspects of setting up a business including free workshops relating to business planning, finance and marketing, alongside personal mentoring and sourcing finance.
And that support also proved to be a help to Dave Blick, who launched The Warwickshire Gin Company last year selling gin that is inspired by historical Warwickshire tales.
After a strong period of trade, the Leamington business engaged with advisors at Warwickshire County Council for assistance with access to finance.
Through WCC’s Small Capital Grants Programme, they were able to leverage £8,583 in grant funding to help refurbish their unit and purchase distilling equipment which will allow them to open the new distillery.
Their new premises on Neilston Street, where the gin can be made on site, is due to open in Sep-tember.
Dave said: “The Chamber helped us with marketing techniques, social media and adapting our website in order to capitalise on a scenario where everyone was indoors and using technology more than usual.
“The last 18 months has taught us that even during the toughest of times, our business idea works as we can target both consumers directly, as well as local shops and bars, and we are really excited to take it to the next level with the opening of our distillery.”
For more information about start up support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, visit www.cw-chamber.co.uk
Caption: David Blick with Hardeep Sandhu, of the Chamber
Luxury chocolate shop opens its doors in Leamington
A Leamington luxury chocolate maker can now produce its premium chocolate quicker than ever following support from Warwickshire County Council.
Cenu Cacao was set-up by Rosemary Ndukuba in 2017, employs three people and this July moved into a new shop on 114 Regent Street.
It is famed for producing chocolate using Aztec methods and organic cacao beans, with customers able to watch the production process from start to finish in the shop.
The shop has been able to significantly cut the production time of its products after purchasing new equipment for roasting cocoa beans, which was part funded with a Small Capital Grant of £5,400 from Warwickshire County Council.
Cenu Cacao was helped to access the funding by Business Ready which is managed by the business support team at the University of Warwick Science Park and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Warwickshire County Council.
Rosemary met with Ian McFarlane-Toms, who heads up the Business Ready programme, and he helped guide her to secure the grant funding.
Now Rosemary has her sights set on building strong foundations at her new premises and is looking to further expand into more towns in the future.
She said: “We had been struggling with roasting the cocoa beans and we weren’t getting the consistency and quality we wanted from the oven.
“We needed to make the investment for the business to grow. The new machine really speeds up our process and further increases our quality, which we pride ourselves on, the roasting is very crucial and the equipment has solved that issue for us.
“I met with Ian McFarlane-Toms at a session organised by Warwickshire County Council and from there I was told about the possibility of grant funding. It covered around 30 per cent of the cost of the equipment, which is great.
“It’s been an exciting few months for us with moving into our new premises and our customers are now able to see the production process from roasting to tempering all in our shop.
“The lockdown came at a bad time for us with Easter just around the corner, however Covid-19 gave us a chance to take a step back and see where we were going to take the business, this is when we decided to move to a new home and take a leap of faith.
“Once we have settled in here we will start to look at how we can expand into another shop and continue to grow.
“It has been amazing to be back open after lockdown. What I missed most was serving our customers. The people of Leamington are fantastic and have been nothing but supportive of us over the last three years.”
Warwickshire exhibition specialists growing their services
An exhibition and display specialists are expanding their services across the UK after receiving support from Warwickshire County Council.
Kaleidoscope Displays Ltd (K Display) was established seven years ago by Karl Oldershaw and Callum Holmes in Harbury, near Leamington, to provide exhibition and display graphics for first-time exhibitors as well as experienced event professionals at national, regional and local shows.
The innovative business has gone from strength to strength and further expansion is on the horizon after Warwickshire County Council awarded the company a Small Capital Grant of £34,011 towards buying a flat-bed router and cutter machine.
K Display also invested £100,000 towards buying the state-of-the-art machine which is improving its efficiency.
Karl, creative director at K Display, said it was the first time the business had applied for a grant and the process had been straightforward.
He said: “We are a large format printing business who specialise in exhibition graphics and we have developed a reputation for helping customers through the whole process to the finished product at the exhibition itself.
“We also have a great deal of work from advertising and design agencies to produce graphics on their behalf.
“Since Callum and I set-up the business, turnover has almost doubled each year which led to the recruitment of Martin Phillips.
“He was doing most of the chopping and cutting by hand but we thought we could get even more work done quicker by investing in a flat-bed router and cutter machine.
“It means we can make the business as automated as possible because it can do much of the work on our behalf so our efficiency has increased and we can secure work from different markets such as 3D designs and making bespoke printed furniture.
“In March before Covid-19, we produced over 150 exhibition stands in the time it would previously have taken us to do 70 so our productivity has more than doubled.
“We can now print and cut medias made from recycled material that can also be recycled, which is an environmental alternative to using plastic medias which are then thrown away.”
The business is now gearing up for when the exhibition industry opens up again due to the Coronavirus pandemic which is expected to be in October.
Karl added: “Once we get straight back to work, we will have a larger product range and customers will be able to buy all their printing from us rather than having to use different suppliers.
“November is one of the busiest months for exhibitions so we are hoping to hit the ground running.”
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted at the progress that this company has made. It’s really encouraging for everyone to see that businesses are looking to the future and can be optimistic.
“Warwickshire County Council is committed to creating and sustaining a vibrant economy and that is never more important than now.When we invest grant money into local businesses, we look for that to trigger growth and creation of jobs. This is an excellent example of how that works in practice.”
Since 2015, WCC’s access to finance programmes have supported over 100 businesses with investments that have created 172 new jobs.
Caption: Callum Holmes (left) and Karl Oldershaw from K Display with the machine which was bought with a grant from Warwickshire County Council
Nuneaton needs your ideas
Nuneaton is in the running for a share of millions of pounds worth of funding to help drive economic regeneration – but resident’s ideas are needed.
The town is one of 100 across the country that has been selected to bid for funding from the Government’s Towns Fund initiative.
This would be part of a wider package of improvements since Warwickshire County Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership are working in partnership to transform Nuneaton town centre with a mix of accommodation, office space and a community hub to boost economic growth as part of the Transforming Nuneaton programme.
The County Council is investing nearly £19.5 million to build a state-of-the-art library, café and business centre in the town which highlights its commitment to Transforming Nuneaton.
Cllr Peter Butlin, Deputy Leader at Warwickshire County Council, sits on the Town Deal Board and represents the county council.
There is up to £25 million available for each town to help with projects that will deliver transformation to towns across England. This is part of the Government’s commitment to ‘level up’ all regions across the country.
In order to compete for the funding, a bid needs to be created to form a shortlist of projects that could be put forward.
Going under the name My Town Nuneaton, the initiative needs residents to help to guide what projects should be funded through five key areas - local transport, digital connectivity, urban regeneration, arts, culture and heritage and skills.
A plan of action, called a Town Investment Plan, is being drawn up to submit for the Government funding.
A Town Deal Board – made up of business representatives, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Councillors, Warwickshire County Councillors and representatives from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Warwickshire CAVA, the health sector and community – has been created to bring a funding bid together.
Sean Farnell, Chair of the Nuneaton Town Deal Board, asked for as many people as possible to come forward, get involved and offer their ideas.
“We have a real opportunity to do some really good work for Nuneaton and bring a huge amount of improvements to the town with this funding,” he said.
“But we need people to share their ideas and what they would like to see happen under the five key areas. This is your time to have a say and help shape what we can do with this Government funding if we are successful.
“With the Transforming Nuneaton project, the town is going through a huge amount of change for the better and this will only add to this.”
Cllr Peter Butlin, who represents Warwickshire County Council on the Town Deal Board, added: “The initial response to the initiative has been excellent from residents living throughout Nuneaton but we are always keen to hear more ideas. The initial consultation ends on August 28 so people need to be quick to get their responses in.
“This is a great opportunity to shape the future plans of the town whether you live or work in Nuneaton so that we can help to put projects in place to sustain its economic future.”
Following the initial consultation, a number of shortlisted ideas will be put forward for a second round of consultation.
For further information about the campaign and to submit an idea visit www.mytownnuneaton.co.uk
To keep up to date with the initiative follow @MyTown _Nuneaton on Twitter and My Town Nuneaton at Facebook.
(left to right) Nuneaton Town Deal Board members Cllr Kris Wilson, Sean Farnell, Marion Plant and Cllr Julie Jackson
Programme extended to assist with the health and wellbeing of small business owners
Warwickshire County Council has extended its Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to support owners and staff at town centre businesses with their health and wellbeing.
The County Council has allocated funding and worked with the EAP provider to extend the programme to help employees and business leaders in town centre micro and small businesses.
The programme will be available from Tuesday, September 1 to businesses with 10 or fewer employees operating in the towns of Warwickshire who may need help.
This includes access to information, support and guidance (including coaching and counselling where appropriate) on a wide range of topics including work, career, relationships, family, money management, debt and health and wellbeing.
The support will be available on an on-going basis subject to funding.
Cllr Les Caborn, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Warwickshire County Council, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic as we all know has caused upheaval and stress throughout the entire community.
“Warwickshire County Council and its local authority and business partners is doing what it can to support the economy and jobs in Warwickshire through its Economic Recovery Plan.
“We recognise that this has been a particularly difficult time for micro and small businesses operating in town centres.
“Small businesses like these do not have the HR departments that larger organisations have that can provide assistance around mental health and wellbeing at times like this.
“With this in mind, we are extending our internal Employee Assistance Programme to the employees and owners of micro and small businesses in town centres.”
Companies and individuals interested can access the service by contacting email@example.com.
Please provide a name, contact phone number, email address, business name and postcode. This will register the enquiry with the EAP provider for the service who will then make contact.
New energy efficiency scheme launched
Tradespeople across Warwickshire are being urged to sign-up for key accreditation so they can offer their services under the new Green Homes Grant Scheme.
More than 100,000 jobs will be supported in green construction across England under the Government’s new £2 billion scheme which goes live at the end of September.
The scheme will give over 600,000 homeowners in England up to a maximum of £10,000 to install insulation, heat pumps, draft proofing and more to help households cut energy bills.
Tradespeople must register for TrustMark and/or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation to be involved in the scheme.
TrustMark, which was established in 2005, is the Government-endorsed quality scheme covering work a consumer chooses to have carried out on their home.
All heat pump installers must be registered with MCS in order to carry out work under the Green Homes Grant.
Households will be able to choose from approved tradespeople, but only approved and accredited installers will be able to be commissioned, to ensure high standards are maintained.
The aim is to help families save up to £600 a year on energy bills, with the green home improvements ranging from the insulation of walls, floors and roofs to low-carbon heating.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “This is great news for Warwickshire. Alongside the obvious environmental benefits, it will generate a considerable amount of work and I want to be sure that Warwickshire’s tradespeople are well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities as we carry on our road to economic recovery.”
Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Green home improvements will save people money on their energy bills, help to cut carbon emissions, and create new work for many thousands of builders, plumbers and other tradespeople.
“Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected.”
For further information on accreditation rules for the scheme, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/quality-assurance-at-heart-of-new-2-billion-green-homes-grants
News in Brief
News-in-brief from around the region...
Tata denies JLR sale rumours
The parent company of Jaguar Land Rover has hit out at "unconfirmed and unsubstantiated" reports that it may sell the automotive giant. Tata Motors, which is part of India-headquartered Tata Group, said it "categorically denies and dismisses any such intent" in a statement released on Monday 17 August.
Last year the company had been linked to PSA Peugeot Citroen Vauxhall, which went on to pursue a merger with Fiat Chrysler.
Ex-AMG CEO takes up new role at Aston Martin Lagonda
Tobias Moers has joined Gaydon-based Aston Martin Lagonda from his role as chief executive of Mercedes-AMG.
His appointment was first announced in May with the departure of predecessor Andy Palmer, who had been in the role since 2014.
Hello to Fresh investment and jobs in Nuneaton
Fast growing German provider of fresh food at home, HelloFresh, has leased the prime 230,384 sq ft logistics space Nuneaton 230, from developer Goodman, just off the A444 at Bermuda, bringing new investment and jobs to the town.
New Zealand company latest FDI investor attracted to Tournament Fields
New Zealand security firm Gallagher has signed a multi-million-pound deal to move to Tournament Fields and will make it the company's UK and European headquarters. Sackville Developments (Warwick) Ltd, part of Clowes Developments, secured planning consent for the new 24,000 sq ft unit during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown period.
Aerospace company wins major defence contract extension
Meggitt plc, the major UK aerospace, defence and energy company based at Ansty Technology Park near Coventry, has received a three-year continuation contract with Northrop Grumman Corporation of the UK, to supply fuel components for the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The contract is valued at around $20 million and deliveries are scheduled to commence this month.
Aldi has outlined plans to create nearly 4,000 new jobs across the UK this year
German grocer Aldi, from its UK base at Atherstone, is targeting 1,200 new stores by 2025.
It currently has more than 890 stores and employs about 35,000 people across the country, and has already created 2,800 new permanent jobs this year and plans to create over 1,200 more.
New appointment at Manufacturing Technology Centre
The Manufacturing Technology Centre at Ansty has appointed Mike Wilson as Chief Automation Officer. Mike will lead the MTC’s drive to increase the adoption of automation throughout UK manufacturing.
Codemasters latest Games Development Studio to perform well during lockdown
The extra hours in lockdown have been good news for Codemasters, the award-winning Southam-based videogame developer and publisher specialising in racing games.
The company’s latest report and accounts show that revenues at the company reached £76 million with operating profits just short of £16 million, and the board now anticipates that revenues will be significantly ahead of current market expectations.
Technology company wins major communications infrastructure contract
Telent Technology Services, the leading Warwick-based technology and network services company, has secured a new ten-year agreement with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to design, build and operate a next-generation mission critical network.
The new network will connect 155 remote radio sites situated around 11,000 miles of UK coastline, replacing the existing legacy infrastructure with a combination of fibre and microwave technology.
Bid to bring strength in immersive technologies to the sub-region
Coventry and Warwickshire Creative Futures (CWCF) – a partnership between Coventry University and the University of Warwick - will accelerate research, development, and innovation activity related to the immersive technology sector in the region. The technology encompasses the areas of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) devices.
CWCF has been awarded a seed funding total of £50,000 from the Strength in Places Fund, provided by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
Creative Cluster of national significance by 2025
A call has been made to support a campaign to establish Warwick as a 'creative cluster of national significance' by 2025. Warwick District Council has been working in consultation with more than 400 creative agencies to develop a Creative Framework which is supported by an independent creative sector impact study.
In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the authority plans to use the framework to support the recovery and growth of the creative industries and is inviting local organisations to become part of delivering it.
New spec build industrial unit in Rugby comes to market
Richard Utley Ltd, a local family-owned property company, is celebrating the completion of a new speculative 44,000 sq ft industrial warehouse building at Europark Industrial Estate, on the A5 just outside Rugby town centre.
The new building will cater for both distribution and manufacturing companies and will complement the existing industrial units on the established Europark Industrial Estate, and will help increase the supply of commercial space of this size in Warwickshire.
Apprenticeship support for SMEs
The WMCA set-up the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund to cover the costs of training apprentices at SMEs in the West Midlands, through large employers pledging their unspent levy. Lloyds Banking Group was one of the first large employers to join the scheme with a pledged spend of £1.8 million.
Over the past year, this has funded the training costs of 250 apprentices at 135 SMEs in the region’s fastest growing sectors including business and professional services, adult care, construction, digital and engineering.