BUSINESS SUPPORT. A guide for businesses in the city

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A guide for businesses in the city


The information in this guide is subject to change and was accurate when published. If you notice any business support that has been left out please contact us:

Economy, Enterprise and Employment Team T 01752 307996


Welcome to the Business Support Guide, the map of the support available for businesses. This guide was produced by Plymouth City Council at the request of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Federation of Small Businesses.

This guide aims to simplify how you access support by pulling many of the different strands together into one easy to digest document which is available to any business in the city.

We have produced this guide in response to a number of changes that have taken place over recent years. It became apparent to us that in Plymouth businesses need to access support and guidance without spending a large amount of time tracking it down.

This guide will be updated at regular six monthly intervals to ensure the contents stay relevant and up to date.




Bristol University


CFMS is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, committed to accelerating the delivery of more intuitive and powerful simulation-based design processes.

T 0117 906 1100 E

There will be a cost implication of using CFMS. Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) Angel CoFund

The Angel CoFund is a partnership that brings together promising businesses and successful entrepreneurs along with government and private sector investment. It invests amounts of £100,000 to £1m into small and medium-sized businesses with high growth potential, working in partnership with syndicates of experienced business angels to help companies fulfill their promise.

E info@angelcofund. contact.

The Angel CoFund invests in equity or equity like instruments. Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) Business In You

Web-based support and advice for businesses.

The Business In You website is an online resource that houses links to business support providers / organisations.

www.businessinyou.bis. Use of the Business In You website is free. There may be a cost implication for any services accessed via the website but this will depend on the services used.

Business West

Coaching for High Growth

Coaching for High Growth is a programme run by Business West and focuses on providing bespoke support to businesses to encourage them to grow and expand. T 01275 376233 E info@ Coaching for High Growth is currently free for local firms that meet key criteria and comprises a minimum of 12 hours support.

Business West

Growth Accelerator

Personalised support to help businesses achieve a minimum 20% growth in turnover year on year. Includes Intellectual Property, finance and general options, all of which attract match funding for senior executive training. Utilises a team of specialist high growth business coaches. T 01275 376233 www.growthaccelerator. com Cost is determined by business size 1-4 Employees £600 + £700 VAT 5-49 Employees £1,500 + £700 VAT 50-249 Employees £3,000 + £700 VAT Business West Understanding finance for business

Investment readiness coaching and

identifying potential investors. T 01275 376233 Free to eligible businesses in the South West.


Business West, Peninsula

Enterprise, WSX Enterprise

Superfast Business

Superfast Business will help growth businesses with a focus on rural areas in Plymouth to maximise the opportunities of Superfast Broadband (SFBB) and associated technologies. T 0845 603 8593 E info@ Support is free but EU eligibility requirements apply Centre for Process Innovation

CPI helps companies to prove and scale up processes to manufacture new products and create more sustainable, efficient and economic industries of the future.

T 01642 455340

To find out cost implications please contact CPI direct on the details given.

Connecting Devon and Somerset

Advice and support for businesses to understand the benefits

and adapt to faster broadband availability across Plymouth.

E broadband@devon. Advice is free.

Design Council

Design Leadership Programme

National programme offering businesses, public sector and university scientists a bespoke package of support and coaching to use design to innovate and grow.

T 0207 420 5200 uk/designingdemand

The cost to take part in the Design Leadership Programme ranges from £2k to £15k dependant on the business needs and size of the business.

Engineering Innovation Network South West (EINSW)

Two days free business support to help grow SME engineering sector in the South West.

Includes support for new product development, IP and taking new products to market.

T 01249 466800


The two days business support is free.


Europe Network South West

The Enterprise Europe Network is your local gateway to a wealth of information on doing business in Europe. T 01275 370997 E info@ uk www. uk/swr Advice and services offered by Enterprise Europe Network SW are free to businesses in Devon and Cornwall.


Foundation Micro loans for start-up and established businesses unable to borrow from conventional sources, with funds secured from Plymouth City Council.

E annie@ The loan will need to be paid back to Fredericks Foundation through an agreed format. is an online service that provides advice and guidance to businesses.




Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN)

GAIN is a network to help ambitious businesses achieve sustainable growth and create wealth and jobs in the South West.

T 0800 073 2020 E info@gainbusiness. com

GAIN services are free via the website.

Health and Safety

Executive (HSE) Online ‘health and safety toolbox’ intended to make it quicker and easier for SMEs to find relevant information that applies to their industry, so they can manage health and safety issues themselves without the need for health and safety consultants.

T 01752 226024

A vast amount of information is available for free through the Health and Safety Executive website.

Open to Export Open to Export is the Government supported free, online community for UK companies looking to grow internationally. It brings together experts from across the private sector and government agencies to help small and medium sized UK businesses successfully enter international markets.


com Open to Export is a free online resource

HMRC Support and advice to help

businesses understand their tax affairs. Aimed at new, start up and expanding businesses, and contains videos, interactive tools, factsheets and online presentations, as well as signposting to sources of further information and advice. Information on the website is provided free.

The website also allows businesses to download relevant documents and forms for free.

Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales Business Advice Service

A free business advice session with a chartered accountant including subjects such as business growth, securing loans, capital and finance, export planning, meeting tax and regulatory requirements.

T 0207 920 3561 E

ICAEW offers one hour free business support.


Property Office The Intellectual Property Office is able to provide advice and guidance to businesses about their IP including innovative designs and trademarks. T 0300 300 2000 Information supplied by the Intellectual Property Office is free but to protect IP will have a cost associated with it.


Laboratory for Integrated Metrology Applications (LIMA) Established in 2009 LIMA is an independent centre of excellence for collaborative research and development of innovative metrology enabled applications. LIMA integrates fundamental research with industrial applications to develop new technologies which benefit UK manufacturing.

T 01225 385138 E

LIMA offers many of its services free to SMEs in the South West.


Advisory Service MAS can provide a free review of your trading manufacturing business. Where this identifies priority areas, your local MAS Advisor may then be able to offer their support or some grant funding to contribute towards bringing in expertise to address improvement projects.

T 0845 658 9600

The initial

consultation is free.

MentorSME MentorSME is a gateway for businesses that are looking to contact a mentor in their area.

finding-a-mentor The MentorSME service is free. Some of the mentors that advertise on the website charge for their services, each is different and some offer free information to SMEs.

National Composites Centre

(part of Innovate UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult)

The NCC is building the Future for Composites. Our industrial-scale Research and Technology Development facilities deliver simulation, manufacture and analysis of composites for all companies wishing to capitalise on the high-strength, low weight, corrosion-resistant properties of advanced materials. We provide an open-access yet secure environment to accelerate innovation and people development to deliver commercial solutions for your company. T 0117 370 7600 The NCC is accessible on a pay-per-use basis for engineering support, equipment and Training. There is a Membership option with an agreed annual research spend within the centre. Mentoring and free consultancy/support is also available for SMEs.

NHS Innovations The NHS Institute was established in July 2005 to support the

transformation of the NHS, through innovation, improvement and the adoption of best practice.

T 0247 647 5800 E enquiries@institute.

Contacting the NHS to run an idea past them is free.





Innovations Ploughshare manages the commercial licensing to industry of Intellectual Property developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). T 01794 301602 Einfo@ ploughshareinnovations. com To establish the potential cost implications contact Ploughshare direct. Plymouth City Council PATLIB

Plymouth PATLIB is a service offered through the central library in Plymouth. It provides free patent searches by appointment, free computer access and advice and guidance around copyright, trademarks and designs.

T 01752 305900 E patlibplymouth@ Some services offered by PATLIB have a small administration cost of £25. Plymouth City Council PPS

PPS offer advice and guidance to all trade and industry concerning regulation and best practice. We enforce safety, standards and licensing matters across Plymouth. PPS support Primary Authority to reduce the regulatory burden for businesses with multiple sites. We operate the assured trader scheme Buy with Confidence.

T 01752 304141 E Plymouth Social Enterprise Network

PSEN is an independent business network that promotes social enterprises in and around Plymouth. It provides a range of networking and membership services. E gareth@plymsocent. Membership fees start at £20 Plymouth University Enterprise Solutions

Access to Plymouth University’s

expertise, services and facilities. T 0800 052 5600 E enterprise solutions@plymouth. There may be a cost implication depending on what services are used.

Regen SW

Ready for Retrofit

Intensive business support to SW based businesses in the construction, energy efficiency and microgeneration sectors in preparation for Green Deal roll-out.

T 01392 494399

The support offered by Regen SW is free to those businesses that meet certain requirements. Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest Launch New Small Business Loan Fund for the South West

The Small business Fund is a new loan programme set up by the Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest to support small enterprises operating in the South West. The scheme forms part of a pledge by the banks to invest £1 billion into improving customer service for its business customers.

Contact 0345 600 2230 for the Royal Bank of Scotland or 0345 711 4477 for NatWest.

Free to contact for support.


Somerset College


Aims to proactively engage with small and medium-sized construction and related businesses across the South West, with a view to expanding the knowledge and application of sustainable methods of construction, renewable energy systems and related technology.

T 01823 366742 M 07825 041668 E trevor.payne@

Each course on offer has its own cost implication.

South West Angel Investor Network (SWAIN)

SWAIN connects private

investors, or ‘Business Angels’, with companies looking for investment. SWAIN specialises in helping small and medium-sized companies to find equity finance, and assists private investors in the South West to search for investment opportunities in businesses with growth potential.

T 0870 060 6560 E uk

Using SWAIN services does come with a cost. South West Business Innovation Accelerator Project (SWBIAP)

SWBIAP partners provide a gateway to business innovation services for SMEs throughout Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

T 01209 616125 To find cost implications surrounding SWBIAP services please contact them directly.

South West Composites Gateway

Support for SMEs in developing specialist technology innovation and advanced engineering in composite materials.

T 0117 312 2155 Each application for support will be judged on its own merit and may be suitable for 12 hours of free support.

South West

Investment Group

Finance for Business

South West Investment

Group (SWIG) is a non-profit organisation that provides risk capital to businesses in the South West. T 01872 277331 E finance@swigcapital. The majority of money is available through a loan scheme. Technology

Strategy Board The Technology Strategy Board tackles barriers and supports business-led innovation. TSB works across business, academia and government - supporting innovative projects, reducing risk, creating partnerships, and promoting collaboration, knowledge exchange and open innovation. The TSB has a wide range of free support. Businesses need to work in certain industries in order to access support from TSB.




The Design

Programme The Design Programme provides advice and guidance to companies on a variety of areas including branding, packing design and product design.

T 01983 400867 The Design

Programme is publicly funded but there may still be a cost implication.

UK Trade and

Investment UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in

international markets.

UKTI also works to identify FDI opportunities within the UK and encourages business expansion into the UK from foreign markets.

T 0207 215 5000

Services provided by UKTI are free.

The Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (University of Exeter)

The Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) is a £2.6m investment in innovative manufacturing for the benefit of business in the South West.

T 01392 725897 Initial advice is free to all businesses, however further support is at cost. Funding to businesses is available through various mechanisms. University of Exeter Centre for Alternative Materials and Remanufacturing Technologies (CALMARE) CALMARE is a £1.8m centre set up to support South West businesses involved in composites and plastics. Funded by the ERDF, the University of Exeter and industry partners, it provides companies with access to the expertise, advice and technology to help them improve their products and processes.

T 01392 725821


CALMARE provides 12 hours fully funded support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Universities South West Innovation Vouchers

Cashback available for small and medium sized businesses based in the south west to buy in expertise from Universities, Colleges

or Public Sector Research Establishments for innovative projects to help their business innovate, develop and grow.

T 01392 241301 E 40% - 50% cashback on innovative projects between £3,000 - £25,000 in value.


Business Support - Businesses Published by Plymouth City Council October 2014


Economy, Enterprise and Employment Team Plymouth City Council

Civic Centre Plymouth PL1 2AA T 01752 307996





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