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Funding available to boost business skills
Fri, 15 Apr 2011 10:59am

Stephen Smith, CEO of EMB Ltd, the leading enterprise and economic development company that delivers a range of business improvement services, welcomed the announcement of a business boosting initiative by Skills Minister John Hayes. "The Leadership and Management development grant scheme is a great opportunity for senior leaders of locally based small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It will enable them to take advantage of funding that will support leadership and management training to help them grow their businesses."
Around 13,000 small and medium sized businesses and social enterprises that demonstrate a potential for growth will benefit from the Leadership and Management development grant. This will help stimulate innovation and employment, boosting the economy and helping develop a bigger and more cohesive society.
Stephen Smith continues, "We are responsible for delivering business improvement services right across the across Central England area, and we hope that many organisations in the local area (which includes the East and West Midlands and East of England) will engage with us to make the most of this initiative to boost their business, and in turn, the local economy."
A match funded grant of up to £1,000 is available to be spent on leadership training and coaching that helps grow the business, improving productivity and competitiveness. The programme also includes a free consultation with an expert adviser before the training commences, as well as a free follow-up to discuss the impact of the training and any further skills needs.
Skills Minister, John Hayes said:
“This Government will back businesses that want to boost their skills. We’re spending more than ever on apprenticeships, freeing up training providers from red tape, and focusing public spending where it is most needed to drive growth. Effective leadership can make the difference between survival and growth, and this fund will give vital support to entrepreneurs who want to continue to develop their businesses.”
Geoff Russell, Chief Executive, Skills Funding Agency added:
"This fund will help many leaders of small and medium sized enterprises grow their business through harnessing the talents of their staff. Skills are critical to the future development of businesses. By offering a helping hand to thousands of organisations we expect to see more leaders develop the skills they need to help their businesses achieve their potential."
The fund will be promoted directly to businesses by the regional Leadership and Management Advisory Service and is available starting this month. SME leaders should contact the Leadership and Management Advisory Service on 0845 894 8969 or email lmas@embltd.co.uk to book their free personal leadership and management assessment.
To find out if your organisation can benefit from the initiative, contact the Leadership and Management Advisory Service Helpline on 0845 894 8969 or email

Thu, 24 Mar 2011 3:12pm

Nearly 13,000 Leicestershire households are at risk from river flooding and more homes are at risk from surface water and flash flooding. Be prepared, come along to a Flood Fair in the Members Lounge at County Hall on Tuesday 29th March 2011.

The Fair will include displays and demonstrations by local flood defence businesses and organisations including the National Flood Forum, Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency.

Get advice and information about flooding that is relevant to you. Including:

  • What flooding risks there are in your area
  • How to protect your home
  • What to do in an emergency
  • How to get help
  • The Flood Warden scheme

The Flood Fair will be open to all members of the public and staff from 1pm to 7pm. More information on flooding and Emergency Management can be found on the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Resilience Forum website.

Climate Friendly Communities Grant
Thu, 17 Mar 2011 1:33pm

The Growing Climate Friendly Communities Grant is now available for communities who want to progress with an environmental project. Grants of £1,000 to £10,000 are available. The deadline for applications is 15th April 2011, and projects need to be complete by February 2012.
Any community groups, charity or school involving themselves in a climate friendly project can apply.
For further information and an application form please e-mail: or ring Sophie on 01773 539426 / 07525 225023.

Help to keep your business on track … new online tools launched
Tue, 01 Mar 2011 10:42am

Free tools to help the region's 306,985 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) get their business records ship shape have been launched by Business Link and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The four new products are suitable for the self employed, sole traders and small businesses. They have been produced in advance of the launch of HMRC’s new Business Record Checks programme later this year, which will impose penalties for significant record-keeping failures.

There is something for everyone – from basic factsheets to online tools:

  • Keeping records for business - what you need to know: a basic guide with a helpful list of where to get more information. www.hmrc.gov.uk/factsheet/record-keeping.pdf
  • A general guide to keeping records for your tax return: detailed guidance on record-keeping covering what type of records you may have to keep, common problems and examples for different types of business. www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/rk-bk1.pdf
  • Set up a basic record-keeping system: with examples of spreadsheets and information about setting up a record-keeping system. www.businesslink.gov.uk/recordkeeping
  • Find out what records you should be keeping: looks at the records you need to keep and assesses how well you are keeping them. If you are thinking of starting business the tool provides you with a checklist. If you are established it will give feedback and advice on improvements you may need to make. www.businesslink.gov.uk/recordkeepingcheck
Fri, 25 Feb 2011 3:15pm

An event is being held at Leicester's De Montfort Hall on Wednesday 23rd March to explore the business opportunity of the low carbon economy for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
It will provide information on the Government's "Green Deal for Business", the new "Climate Change" strategic planning document and showcase examples of how local businesses are seizing the business opportunities of the low carbon economy.

Fri, 04 Feb 2011 2:03pm

Leicestershire has some fantastic green spaces. If you feel strongly about green space in your local area, the County Council wants to hear from you.
The Coalition Government is giving local people a greater say in the future planning of their neighbourhoods and is thinking about creating a new designation to protect green areas of particular importance to local communities.
The County Council is asking for residents' views to help them develop future policies and proposals for protecting and enhancing green spaces. This is your opportunity to tell us which areas are particularly important to you and why.
You can take part by attending your local Community Forum and by making comments on an online interactive map. More details are available on the Leicestershire County Council greenspaces web page.

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 3:07pm

Could you help drive Leicester and Leicestershire's future prosperity?

The Business Council are seeking nominations for members to the Local Enterprise Partnership Board for Leicester and Leicestershire.

This new partnership will develop a robust local economic strategy to improve the performance of our economy and guide economic development and regeneration across our City and County.

For more information about these stimulating and rewarding new positions please e-mail Lesley Dexter for an information pack.

Or view the invitation for Private Sector Board Members through the Leicester Mercury's job pages

Tue, 25 Jan 2011 3:07pm

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) today published its rural policy review for England. This has been a long awaited study into the England's rural policy framework, supported by Defra. Although the study considers rural policy under the previous government it is significantly relevant for the current coalition.

The LRP was keen to aid the OECD during their evidince and research stage. In May 2009 the the LRP hosted a study day with members of the OECD, Defra and Commission for Rural Communities. In addition to the role of the LRP and our approach to "rural proofing" we discussed services for an ageing population, business support and rural transport. All of these are considered within the final report.

The full report can be viewed from the OECD website.

Presentation slides from the OECD's visit to Leicestershire is available at www.oakleaves.org.uk/presentations

Mon, 06 Dec 2010 12:18pm

Farmhouse Breakfast Week
Many businesses across Leicestershire offer excellent locally sourced food at their breakfast tables, which the annual ‘Farmhouse Breakfast Week’ offers a great opportunity to highlight.
The week runs from 23 - 29 January 2011 and promotes the importance of eating a healthy breakfast. Businesses can take part by introducing a special menu during the week, or holding a breakfast themed event.
For more information go to www.shakeupyourwakeup.com

Wed, 01 Dec 2010 10:37am

Sunday 12th December from 11am to 4pm at Whetstone Pastures farm (2 miles south of Blaby, off the A426)

  • Traditional Christmas Nativity in Barn
  • Fantastic Local Foods & Fabulous Crafts
  • Carols and Mince pies
  • Trailer Ride to visit Santa’s Grotto
  • Rustic Courtyard Brimming with Festive Goodies!
  • Hot jacket potatoes from Wood fired Oven
  • Tea room open for seasonal refreshments.
  • Fun for all the Family!
  • Supporting the Charity Send a Cow

For further information please contact Sandra Herbert on 0116 277 4627 or visit www.whetstonepasturesfarm.com

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