Funding Opportunity for Medium Size Businesses Announced.

Latest news

16/06/2017 – HSBC Announces £10 Billion UK SME Fund

A £10 billion loan fund is open for HSBC customers in 2017.

HSBC UK Bank has announced a £10 billion lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. The programme forms part of a broader commitment by the bank to help businesses realise their growth ambitions.

The Fund is UK-wide, enabling SMEs in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to access the financial support they require.

One of the main focus areas of this year’s fund is to encourage small firms to explore opportunities for exporting. HSBC research into 1,000 UK SMEs shows that companies are prepared to consider the opportunities of international trade but may be cautious of perceived barriers.

With a geographic network covering more than 90% of global trade, HSBC believes it can help businesses to navigate the available markets and overcome obstacles to growth.

HSBC approved 91% of small business lending applications in the last year. Launching the new fund, Ian Stuart, UK CEO, HSBC said:

“The launch of this £10 billion fund reaffirms our commitment to support the growth of UK SMEs of all sizes, from start-ups to established businesses. The UK is home to a diverse range of SMEs across established and emerging sectors, operating in their regional markets or looking to trade internationally. We want to put SMEs in a stronger position to make investments that will stimulate local economies and create more jobs.”


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Cambridgeshire Fens LEADER will be at Grow Your Business Event in Ely 12th July

Grow your Business through Innovation, a FREE interactive workshop designed to encourage you to think about how your organisation can innovate and grow, as well as learn what support is available to assist you.

Reasons to attend:

– Network with other local business over light refreshments

– Learn about grants and free business support available to business growth

– Listen to growth success stories from local businesses

– Take part in a fun, interactive and thought-provoking workshop

– Take time to consider how your business could innovate and grow

– Find out how Signpost2Grow* and Innovate 2 Succeed** programmes can support your business.

When: Wednesday 12 July

Where: The Maltings, Ship Lane, Ely

Time: Registration from 8.30am for a 9.00am start and finish by 12.30pm.

This event is organised by the Chamber’s Learning and Skills Sector, sponsored by Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership and Exemplas, with support from East Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire ACRE (Cambridgeshire Fens LEADER).

Although places are free to attend they are to be booked in advance. Download and return the booking form here or contact Helen Bosett at the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce h.bosett@cambscci.co.uk, tel 01223 209815.

A link to the event page on Chamber website is here

* Signpost2Grow is funded by the European Regional Development Fund

** Innovate 2 Succeed is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Innovate UK

Fenland Business Survey Open

Fenland business survey launched
Fenland District Council is committed to creating an environment in which its businesses can thrive. They want to hear from businesses in Fenland to understand what is working, what is holding businesses back, what are the current goals of local businesses and the type of support required to achieve them. Fenland DC continues to work with Opportunity Peterborough to develop and deliver a fresh approach to economic development across the District, breaking down barriers that businesses don’t recognise in the first place.

To help Fenland DC deliver the type of service and support business needs, please complete this short survey.  This survey will be open until 30 June.  A report will be created based on the responses received and this will be shared with all respondents. For more information about the support already available click here and follow us on Twitter @Fenlandbusiness.

 

Dreams can come true, with a bit of help!

Hannam’s Wake Hub near Stretham have been awarded £85,320 under Priority 3 Support for Rural Tourism for the expansion of their Wakeboarding Facility.

The official opening took place on Saturday 27th May 2017 attended by members of the  Cambridgeshire Fens LEADER Local Action Group, with the ribbon cut by the new mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer.

LEADER LAG at openingcutting the ribbon

opening crowdCase Study Hannam’s Wake Hub

Jess Hannam tweeted saying, ‘Huge thank you to the Cambs Fens LEADER programme for making our expansion possible. Dreams can come true, with a bit of help!’

LEADER could provide Funding.

Unlocking data’s potential for farmers

Farm technology_25914

NFU members met this week with global IT solutions companies at a techUK event, as part of a joint initiative to build a new network in agri-tech for members.

As representatives of the biggest tech companies in the world, techUK and members discussed the data and technology solutions available for the production challenges faced by farmers and growers.

From improved crop yields using precision tools and sensors, to better livestock management through real-time monitoring and automation, techUK shared  the tools that could be available to what is becoming an increasingly data-enabled industry.

Dr Helen Ferrier, the NFU’s acting Head of Policy, said: “The technology and data revolution is going to become increasingly available and important to farmers. Many of our members have already embraced different ways of working as a result and are seeing the benefits to their businesses.”

Self-steering farm vehicles, CT scanners for pigs, drone mapping of fields and floors that monitor the wellbeing of birds are just some of the ways in which farmers are improving productivity, efficiency and their businesses’ profitability.

The ‘Bridging the gap between technology and agriculture’ session included a lively panel discussion on how the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics help UK farmers. NFU members were particularly interested in the specific analytical tools that farmers can use to collect and interpret data and outputs that could be incorporated into changing daily practices on the farm.

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a data revolution, with many opportunities for farm businesses. However, Dr Ferrier acknowledges that there are concerns among farmers about the security of sharing data across cyberspace, and the imbalances of power that can arise. “The importance of trust cannot be underestimated, and is the key to unlocking the potential of open and shared data for our industry, she said.

“We hope that these enlightening sessions the NFU is running with techUK will enable us to fully embrace the opportunities presented by exciting technological developments. techUK represents some of the biggest and best technology companies in the world. By collaborating with these leading companies, we are positioning British farming as a progressive and innovative industry – well placed to respond to the Government’s new Industrial Strategy.”

CASE STUDY

David Speller_10909

For poultry farmers, the days of being able to see, hear and even smell birds even out of the sheds is not so far away, thanks to new technology and sophisticated data analysis.

David Speller owns and runs Applied Poultry. He is a former Farmers Weekly Poultry Farmer of the Year and now also consults and advises fellow farmers throughout the UK and abroad.

His business challenge was to accurately monitor the welfare of his chickens to increase efficiency and productivity. He solved this issue through the introduction of very sophisticated sensory, audio and video technology which has revolutionised how he farms chickens.

David said: “We started out with simple static sensors, measuring temperature and humidity, then moved into monitoring CO2. CCTV cameras provided us with visual analysis of behaviour and movement, then we added more sophisticated cameras recording distribution. Now it is much more sophisticated operation with sound sensors that listen to the noises the birds make,” says David.

“We have had a prototype robot in the house and even sensor that pick up on the signature smells of the birds which can indicate any health issues well in advance so we can treat them earlier.”

Calling all Start Up, Micro or Small businesses and Community Ventures

Turn your ideas into funded projects

Free support for advice on eligibility and the application process for grant money

Wednesday 21st June 2017 – 3-7pm

Old Nene Golf Club – Kiln Room, Brick Kilns Farm/Muchwood Lane,

 Huntingdon, PE26 2XQ

You are invited to attend a workshop to provide you with  further information and personalised guidance to support you through the application process.

Kieran Carr, Programme Manager and Alison Earl,  Monitoring and         Administration Officer will be offering 1 to 1 support to:

  • Explain the process and documents required
  • Listen to your ideas and help develop them into projects
  • Advise on how to overcome stumbling blocks

If you wish to attend you need to book a one hour time slot. It may be helpful for you to come with a colleague/partner and to bring a laptop so that forms can be completed electronically during the session.

RSVP to Alison Earl to arrange your session time or for further information    alison.earl@cambsacre.org.uk          Direct Dial 01353 865044

 

 

Rural Economy Spotlight – LEADER programmes making a real difference

March 2017

LEADER programmes making a real difference
This edition of the Rural Services Network – Rural Economy Spotlight – includes a special feature which highlights a range of case studies from Leader programmes around the country. You will find this at the end of the Spotlight.

http://www.rsnonline.org.uk/rural-economy-spotlight-articles/rural-economy-spotlight

http://www.rsnonline.org.uk/rural-economy-spotlight/leader-programme-cambridgeshire-fens-no-tillage-seed-drill

 

EU Money is still available

Despite the decision to leave the EU Cambridgeshire Fenland businesses have the opportunity to benefit from EU grant programme LEADER.

The Cambridgeshire Fens LEADER programme has access to just over £1.1m of funding to support farms and small businesses in and around the Fenland area.  A number of projects have already been funded so it’s important that people take the opportunities while they exist.

Despite the uncertainty created by the Brexit decision access to grant funding still exists and this has been supported by the Government in the recent Autumn Statement. The Treasury have confirmed that any funding awarded through EU grant schemes will be honoured if the funding arrangements have been put in place prior to the UK leaving the European Union, even when commitments continue beyond our departure from the EU.

For the Fenland this means that funding is still, very much on offer; whether that money is replaced and how it will be substituted, is just conjecture.

Kimimg_1241 Oakhill, of SIGMA Embroidery and Printing, based in Littleport, received a LEADER gran
t to help her business grow.  Kim said, ‘Sigma were so excited to have been accepted to receive a Leader Grant. The grant has allowed us to purchase equipment, which we otherwise couldn’t have afforded. The new equipment has allowed us to increase the range of services we offer and has therefore opened up more business opportunities, which is helping us to grow. We aim to take on a new member of staff shortly.’

The LEADER programme has already awarded grants of £86,634 to support farm productivity and small and micro businesses. £149,800 has also been agreed to the most recent applicants who are currently arranging for their projects to be completed. Current applicants not only include farmers and small businesses but also a community centre, school, tourism projects and culture and heritage groups.