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New guide outlines business support
Wed, 13 Feb 2013 3:05pm
New guide outlines business support

A new guide to how the county council can support businesses and economic development in Leicestershire has been launched.

Known as Supporting Businesses, the online guide highlights how the council, working with the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership and others is providing support, advice and funding for a range of activities, including:

• Supporting businesses

• Investment in infrastructure, employment sites and housing

• Apprenticeships and training

• Providing support for tourism and creative industries

• Business mentoring

• Inward investment

• Support to understand planning and regulations

• Economic intelligence and research

The economy of Leicestershire and Leicester is worth £17.6 billion – the largest in theEast Midlands– with more than 22 million consumers within a three hour drive.

Blake Pain, cabinet member for economic development, said: "We've designed this guide to show the wide range of practical support that businesses can obtain.

"The county council, using its influence, knowledge and resources, will work to further unlock the area's economic potential and create new opportunities both for local businesses and companies wishing to invest and locate here."

For further details, see http://www.leics.gov.uk/supportingbusinesses.htm

or contact business@leics.gov.uk

Business Planning Week
Fri, 01 Feb 2013 8:37am
Business Planning Week

Are you a small or medium sized enterprise that needs help in developing your business plan?Business in Youhttp://businessinyou.bis.gov.uk/ andYour Business Matters http://www.your-business-matters.com/ are running a National Business Planning Week from 11th to 17th February, 2013.

Participants will create a personal business plan, one day at a time with the help of seasoned experts, free resources and an interactive community forum. AllUKowner-managed businesses and start-ups are invited to register with this free initiative by going to:


Fri, 25 Jan 2013 1:58pm
Last chance to fill in Community Buildings Survey

Assessment of Support for Community Buildings in Leicestershire

Leicestershire County Council recognises that Village Halls and Community Centres are highly valued facilities at the heart of communities. They provide local people with a place to meet where news, information and ideas can be exchanged, views expressed and actions discussed and agreed. They also provide the base from which services for the local community are offered, often by local community groups and where people meet for social, recreational and educational events and activities.

The County Council supports community buildings because of their value to local communities and currently provides a range of assistance including Grants, advisory and support services and web services such as the LeicestershireVillagesand Parishes website. In order to ensure that future support is most effective in helping to maintain and develop community building services the County Council is currently considering the focus of its support and where existing as well as any additional resources might best be directed. Your views are essential in shaping the outcome of this review and, ultimately, influencing the availability of resources to support community buildings in Leicestershire.

For the purpose of this survey, we consider aCommunityBuildingto be a building that:

- is operated on a not-for-profit business model and the running of which is governed by a Board of trustees, Management Committee or Parish Council

- offers space for other community groups and organisations to use either regularly or on an ad-hoc basis.

For example: Village Halls, Church Halls ,Community Centres, Memorial Halls, Village Institutes, Scout Huts

Buildings that are purpose built and used for sport and leisure such as sports clubs & pavilions and leisure centres are not within the scope of this survey.

If your group or organisation is responsible for the management of a community building we would be grateful therefore if you would complete this short survey.


Consultation Period: Ends January 31st 2013

Who can get involved?: Representatives of groups or organisations responsible for the management of Community Buildings.

How can I get involved?: If you would like further information please contact: Community and Places Team: Telephone: 0116 305 7269

E-mail: andy.hayes@leics.gov.uk

Village Halls Programme Application Deadline Approaching
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 11:20am
Village Halls Programme Application Deadline Approaching

The SHIRE Village Hall Grant scheme recently received a £20,000 boost to support a wide range of improvement projects in village halls across rural Leicestershire. The additional County Council funds will support Leicestershire Rural Partnership priorities by enhancing rural community facilities and meeting places.

This new injection means that further initiatives can be supported this financial year.

The grants are available for works to extend, refurbish or carry out major improvements and repairs to existing village halls or to create new halls. They are jointly administered by the Rural Community Council (Leicestershire and Rutland) and Leicestershire County Council.

Cllr Lesley Pendleton, Chairman of the LRP said"Village halls are valuable community resources which provide a range of services and activities for local people. I am pleased that the Leicestershire Rural Partnership is able to help maintain and enhance these important assets for the use of future generations."

Applications are sought from village halls that have not received funding from the SHIRE Village Hall Grant scheme during 2012, and the closing date for applications is Monday 18th February 2013.

An application form and guidance notes are available from the Rural Community Council by emailing Kevin Butcher, Community Buildings Officer at kbutcher@ruralcc.org.uk

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:46am
Wheels 2 Work scheme aims to help people in rural areas

The Wheels 2 Work scheme aims to prevent transport from being a barrier to success for people who have no public transport available to them and are seeking work, education or training.

Through Wheels 2 Work mopeds and scooters can be hired for up to 6 months by anyone over the age of 16 who is not already benefiting from other transport bursaries. This provides people with the means to get from A to B whilst allowing them time to save up and buy their own vehicle.

Imogen, aged 17, is one individual who has benefited from the scheme. Before Wheels 2 Work Imogen depended on lifts from friends and family

to get her to college and part-time employment, but this wasn't always reliable:

'One day when I had no-one to give me a lift I had to walk 1 mile, get the bus to Corby, then to Oakham, then the train to Leicester to get to college, I arrived just before lunch!'

Wheels 2 Work aims to prevent situations like this by providing the means of transport needed to give people independence and to open up employment and training opportunities.

For further information call 01664 502 388 or 07917 592 621, email


or visit www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk

Back the bid to boost the Charnwood Forest
Mon, 21 Jan 2013 8:32am
Back the bid to boost the Charnwood Forest

The County Council is hoping people power will help it secure up to £3m Heritage Lottery funding towards conserving and enhancing the CharnwoodForest. Residents can play an essential part in the bid by filling in a questionnaire about what they think about the area and what initiatives they would like to see happen there.

If successful, the lottery money will be used to help support a range of programmes to conserve and enhance the landscape, and improve access. Projects could include increasing training opportunities in countryside skills, the running of classes about the area's history, historical recording and archaeology surveying.

The Charnwood Forest is one of the country's most ancient, beautiful and environmentally diverse areas. It contains some of the oldest rocks in Britain, dating back more than 550 million years, there are eighty five species of breeding birds, nine species of amphibians and reptiles and twenty one species of spiders.

The Charnwood Forest takes in parts of the districts of Charnwood, North West Leicestershire and Hinckley and Bosworth and includes Bradgate Park, Beacon Hill Country Park and the Great Central Railway

Find out more about the Charnwood Forest online and fill in the questionnaire at www.leics.gov.uk/charnwood_forest

County council backs tourism boost
Thu, 17 Jan 2013 12:04pm
County council backs tourism boost

A boost to tourism in Leicestershire has been provided by the county council's award of a contract to support the sector. The three-year contract to provide tourism support services, worth £195,300-per-year, has been awarded to Leicester Shire Promotions.

Consideration will also be given to introducing a Leicestershire Tourism Partnership, so that key county attractions can work more closely with each other and with Leicester Shire Promotions, to boost their potential.

Cabinet member for Economic Development, Blake Pain, said: "The county council is keen to ensure that Leicestershire's economy gets the strongest possible boost from tourism and the best value from the council's investment.

In 2011 the value of tourism to the county's economy was £928 million. We think that there is scope to increase this, with the right support in place and we're delighted that Leicester Shire Promotions will be doing this work for us."

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions, said he was delighted to win the new contract, having run the previous one. He said: "This commitment from the county council means that the future for tourism in our county is looking very bright. Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in Leicestershire and visitor numbers to the destination grew once again last year. It's vital that we continue to build on this strong platform and challenge ourselves to continue to increase the volume and value of tourism to the local economy."

Leicester Shire Promotions has provided tourism support services on behalf of the County Council for several years but the council decided to review arrangements to take account of a number of local and national developments and, by testing the market, to ensure value for money was being achieved.

The review said that, although current arrangements worked well, there was scope for improvement, such as:

  • The provision of more support to smaller tourism businesses;
  • More support for business tourism;
  • Greater focusing of campaigns on specific themes or areas, such as the county's food and drink offer;
  • More working with neighbouring areas;
  • Generating more private sector income.

Under the new contract, the current funding of £195,300 per year will be maintained for three years, from April 2013, with an option to extend for a further two years at a rate to be decided.

Grants for manufacturing businesses
Tue, 15 Jan 2013 9:59am
Grants for manufacturing businesses

Grants totalling £7.8 million are up for grabs by manufacturing businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire. This latest grant fund is the result of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership's (LLEP) successful bid into a national government 'Regional Growth Fund' programme and is set to deliver over 1000 jobs and lever £23.4m of private investment.

The Regional Growth Fund is a competitive grant scheme that will help to fund Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) business growth projects that will lead to significant job creation and additional investment from other sources that will boost theLeicesterand Leicestershire economy.

Andrew Bacon, Chair of the LLEP said: "The LLEP's success in obtaining £7.8 million of government funding will have a major impact on the local economy. Job creation is expected to be significant, with an estimated 312 direct jobs and 936 indirect jobs being generated."

Businesses in the manufacturing sector can apply for a share of the £7.8m pot to receive 25% capital investment grant of between £25,000 and £150,000. The money can be put towards projects such as:

• Machinery acquisition

• Property improvement

• Building expansions

• Infrastructure improvement

To be eligible, businesses must be an SME based in the City of Leicester, County of Leicestershire, or moving into the area, with plans for growth and the creation of jobs within 12 months of project completion.

Local manufacturing companies, looking to grow their business should complete an Expression of Interest online form http://forms4.evolutive.co.uk/llep/Forms/formExpressionOfInterest.aspx

For details of how to apply, contact Sue Tilley LLEP Economic Growth and Investment Manager on 0116 252 8636 or email: sue.tilley@llep.org.uk

For full terms and conditions and eligibility criteria, visit http://www.llep.org.uk/rgfllepsmegrowthfund

The RDPE Dairy Fund – open for applications
Fri, 11 Jan 2013 8:29am
The RDPE Dairy Fund – open for applications

To help business growth, the £5million Dairy Fund, offered through the Rural Development Programme for England, is now open for applications from eligible projects that will deliver transformational change to multiple English dairy farm businesses. Grants are available from £25,000 to circa £1million.

Projects will be considered that encourage the establishment, development or expansion of co-operation structures and for adding value projects by such structures that will improve the profitability of its farmer members.

The central objectives of the cooperation activity must be to strengthen members connection with their market(s), enable dairy farmers to explore and develop new market opportunities and ultimately improve farm profitability and long term sustainability of the dairy sector.

The Dairy Fund application process is competitive and those projects offering the greatest return on grant investment will be more likely to be successful. The application process includes two stages, an outline application stage and a full application stage. The deadline for outline applications is 28th February 2013 - http://rdpenetwork.defra.gov.uk/funding-sources/dairy-fund

Bids invited as county tries to secure Olympic legacy
Mon, 07 Jan 2013 8:57am
Bids invited as county tries to secure Olympic legacy

Bids are now being invited from projects for a £410,000 "cash pot" which will help secure an Olympic legacy for Leicestershire. Leicestershire County Council has approved plans to invest cash from under-spends and reserves to back projects, including support for sports clubs, schools and cycling schemes. From today (Monday, January 7th), sports clubs will be able to bid for money towards improving facilities and equipment, with a second pot helping them to provide additional coaching and staff training.

Ernie White, Cabinet member for health and sport, said: "The pots open on Monday and this is a terrific opportunity to ensure a sporting legacy lives on long after the Olympics and Paralympics.

"For individuals or groups, enjoying and sticking at a physical activity can be one of their 2013 resolutions and we've invested in a wide range of schemes which are as much about health as sport. It is all geared towards making Leicestershire a more healthy and active place in which to live."

New projects, which can support individuals or groups who make bids, are:

  • A club development programme, offering 50 clubs up to £2,000 each to expand their support for young people;
  • A club facilities improvement legacy fund, offering 15-20 clubs up to £7,500 each to buy small items of equipment;
  • Investing £44,000 to boost physical activity for pre-school children, by providing training, guidance and resources to up to 80 childcare providers;
  • Introducing free swimming lessons for five to 11-year-olds to encourage inactive young people to do more physical activity.

Proposed support for existing schemes includes:

  • £22,000 to support cycling events for children and families;
  • £15,000 to support motivational school visits by Olympians and Paralympians in county-wide Leicester-shire and Rutland Sport roadshows;
  • £2,000 to support physical activity in Knit and Natter" groups;
  • £10,000 for the sports apprentices scheme;
  • £2,000 to help local Games Makers take coaching and sports leadership qualifications;
  • £5,000 to expand the Go Gold scheme to fund talented local athletes;
  • £30,000 to support school games across the county.

Full details can be found at: http://www.lrsport.org/leicestershire-legacy-fund

The Legacy Bids, which will be open until mid-February, were officially launched at County Hall on Friday 4th January, backed by Team GB hockey player Alastair Wilson, who has played in the past two Olympics, and Jim and Sue Houghton, the Desford couple who won theBBC Sports Personality of the Year's 'Unsung Heroes' award.Wilson said: "It's been really exciting to be involved in the roadshow programme and it is fantastic news that the programme is continuing. "It's amazing to see the impact which London 2012 had and the excitement it is continuing to generate. I hope I can inspire more children and young people to take up a sport and chase the dream of going to an Olympics or Paralympics."

The Houghtons'BBCaward recognised their work with Desford in Sport, which has been supported by the County Council through a number of grants.

Displaying 191 to 200 of 277

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