Power to Change Funding Opportunity 2019

Power to Change are an independent charitable trust that supports and develops community businesses in England. The Power to Change Research Institute invites all academics, researchers and community businesses to pre-register for its 2019 open call for research funding for projects that have tangible benefits for the community business sector in England. You can register to receive an email reminder when the call for expressions of interest goes live on 2nd January 2019.

Here is the link to pre-register for an email reminder on 2nd January.

If you are unsure about whether your organisation or an organisation you are working with is a community business, Power to Change provide helpful information on their definition of a community business. 

Details of criteria will be released on the 2nd January 2019 when all potential proposers will see the criteria but in general Power to Change are looking for interesting and high quality expressions of interest from partnerships as well as individual researchers who want to run a research project within the region of £20-£40k looking at anything community business related but particularly:

–          Workforce i.e. volunteers and employees

–          Sustainability

–          Public services e.g. community business spin outs or community businesses emerging in this space, especially health and social care

–          Community asset transfer

–          Localism

–          Energy i.e. community owned energy businesses

–          BAME-led community businesses

–          The economic model of community business

Check out the Power to Change website for further details.


Grant achieved – Bringing Chatteris Museum into 21st Century

This project will breathe new life into the museum – bringing it technologically up-to-date. The entrance area display screen will be useful for communicating information to the public, in order to effectively inform visitors of events, exhibits and special events.The new interactive screen will show a range of information relevant to our current displays/exhibitions and about Chatteris and the local area – enhancing the experience for visitors.  ‘Having ‘old’ displays/exhibitions alongside ‘new’ technology means we can tie the two in together and demonstrate that museums are not ‘old stuffy places’ but innovative and exciting places.’ Sally Shortland, museum treasurer and successful achiever of LEADER grant.

photo of entrance area

The museum will be a fun place where adults and children alike will enjoy spending time together and we would expect an increase in numbers attending.  At the moment the museum does not charge for entry but relies on voluntary donations for support.

photo of large interactive screen

Prince Charles spent time talking with Cambridgeshire Fens LEADER during his visit to Fenland

Prince Charles was led into St Peter’s and St Paul’s church, Wisbech to learn about some of the area’s key voluntary organisations, charities and projects, including the economic development programme LEADER.

MC at stand

There was a display of a range of locally grown varieties of pumpkin, squash and sweetcorn  donated from Robert Stacey of Freshfields Farm, who has benefited from receiving a LEADER grant.

His Royal Highness spoke with those involved with Cambridgeshire Acre, LEADER group showing a particular interest in water and soil management. During the conversation with Martin Collison, Local Action Group chair, Prince Charles commented that soil and water management has important environmental significance for areas like the Fens. He was interested in the projects that had supported these areas of significance.

HRH Prince Charles 070

Photo by Adam Fairbrother

Kieran Carr of Cambridgeshire Acre said: “Leader adopts a bottom up approach using local people to make decisions on the grant funding agreements based on local need, and give people a say in decisions. This is something that Prince Charles particularly supported.”


Cambridgeshire Fens LEADER fund closes due to oversubscription

The Cambridgeshire Fens Rural Development Programme LEADER fund is currently oversubscribed and will not accept new expressions of interest after the 17th August 2018. All current applications will continue to be processed as normal. We anticipate that the latest any grant funding agreements will be signed is the 31 March 2019 and that all funds will be spent by December 2019.

Open for business update

LEADER funding is limited and will be prioritised to applications that contribute the most to the Local Action Group’s strategy.


We are currently oversubscribed, but we are open for new applications as there is a possibility that not all current projects will complete or be funded. New projects applying to us will need to meet the national priorities:

*             Creates new, or higher-skilled, or higher paid jobs.

*             Demonstrates a clear future plan to grow your business or increase its productivity.

*             Provides benefits to the wider economy in the rural area.

In addition the Cambridgeshire Fens Local Action Group is interested in projects that:

*             Include elements of technical advances, innovation and uniqueness.

*             Contribute to environmental improvements.

*               Provide new facilities for the Fens area supported by a long term business plan to sustain these.

*             Produce high quality food for value added markets.

All projects will be appraised on their individual merits measured on the above priorities; grants will be awarded accordingly.

For further information please contact  Kieran Carr at kieran.carr@cambsacre.og.uk or Alison Earl at alison.earl@cambsacre.org.uk

European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Skills for Business Call Opens in Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough

Launch of Research and Innovation Call for proposals in the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP area.

A Skills for Business Call for Proposals has been launched under the European Social Fund stream of the European Structural and Investment Funds for Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough.

Grants from a minimum of £420,000 are available to run a project that will enable gaps in existing apprenticeship and skills provision to be identified and addressed by engaging businesses in creating bespoke sector-wide responses in the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP area.

The Call seeks project/s that will develop new employer-led apprenticeships standards. By engaging in this process business will benefit from being at the forefront of skills development in their sector, as well as providing an opportunity to ensure the relevant apprenticeship programme is geared to meet the needs of their business, and the wider sector. Employers have also reported other benefits of getting involved including that the process provides an opportunity to build relationships with businesses of all sizes, and raises awareness of their business’s support for apprenticeships.

Within the Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough area apprenticeships have the potential to support business growth – particularly in priority sectors where there is already a skills gap. In order to develop apprenticeships in a sustainable way that can be delivered by training providers and effectively promote to young people, this calls seeks project/s that support businesses to come together to develop a sector-wide response.

The total budget for the call is £2,100,439. It is anticipated that funding will be awarded for up to three years and six months and projects must cover the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP area.

The deadline for outline applications is 4 October 2018.

Details Here

Programme closed but open for culture and heritage projects

The Cambridgeshire Fens Rural Development Programme LEADER fund is currently oversubscribed and will not be accepting new expressions of interest in Priorities 1-4, but will accept new applications for Priority 5- Culture and Heritage.

All current applications will continue to be processed as normal.  We anticipate that the latest any grant funding agreements will be signed is the 31 March 2019 and that all funds will be spent by December 2019.  The Cambridgeshire Fens may be allocated limited extra funding over the next twelve months.  Any further funding announcements will be made here.

Grow your Business through People,

A FREE interactive workshop designed to encourage businesses to think about business growth and developing their employees because:

 People are your greatest asset

Employing and developing the right people is crucial for sustainable growth

Failing to plan is planning to fail
Reasons to attend:

– key note address from Pat Carrington MBE: Investing in the Future – developing a skilled workforce

– hear from local companies Ellgia and Cambridge Commodities – growth success, workforce planning and how they develop their people

– take time to consider how your business could grow or diversify

– consider the skills required to attract and employ the right people

– take part in a fun, interactive and though-provoking workshop

– learn of the funding and business support available from Signpost 2 Grow and Cambridgeshire ACRE

– network with other local businesses over a buffet lunch

When: Tuesday 24 April, 9.30am-1.00pm

Where: Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral

FREE to attend, places are to be booked in advance

This event is organised by the Chamber’s Learning and Skills Sector and sponsored by City College Peterborough.

To book your free place simply reply to this email and include delegate names, or call 01733 370809.

Afterwards network with 100 exhibitors at the Celebration of Business Exhibition, join a drinks reception and hear from guest speakers.
interested in exhibiting? Visit www.elycathedralbusinessgroup.org for further information.

Helen Bosett

Sector Co-ordinator

Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce

Tel: 01733 370809

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 Innovate UK Launches £10 Million Innovation Loans for SMEs

April 2018 Open Competition

Innovate UK has up to £10 million in innovation loans for UK small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to carry out highly-innovative, game-changing projects.

This competition is part of the £50 million pilot Innovation Loans scheme introduced in autumn 2017 through Innovate UK (IUK). Innovation loans will be made through Innovate UK Loans Ltd; a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovate UK.

The scheme aims to provide finance to businesses that is affordable, patient and flexible for projects that have a clear route to commercial success. IUK is to offer up to £10 million in loans for highly innovative late stage projects with the best game changing and/or disruptive ideas or concepts. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Projects should aim to develop new products, processes or services (or innovative use of existing ones) believed to be significantly ahead of anything similar in the field. Proposals can come from any technology (including arts, design, media or creative industries) and any part of the economy.

This competition aims to help businesses overcome barriers to the best cutting edge, game changing innovations becoming a successful commercial reality. This includes making a considerable economic impact and/or resulting in significant, sustainable business growth. Projects must focus on commercialisation, growth or scale-up. Priority is given to proposals likely to lead to growth, gains in productivity and/or access to new overseas markets through export.

There is a total of £10 million available in this competition. Individual loans of between £100,000 and £1 million are available. Projects should last up to five years and are expected to start by December 2018.

The loans are aimed at innovative micro, small and medium-sized businesses in the UK that will be able to manage a loan, but may struggle to access finance from commercial lenders or schemes backed by the British Business Bank.

To take on an innovation loan for a project the business must:

  • be a UK based SME;
  • carry out the project in the UK.

The competition is now open with a deadline for registrations of 6 June 2018 and a closing date the following week on 13 June 2018.

This is the first in a series of three open loan competitions. A further two competitions are planned later in the year.