Senior figures from industry, education and local government are joining the West of England economic recovery taskforce led by Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles.
The taskforce will meet, virtually, for the first time today, Friday 15 May, to establish how the sector groups will work together to put together a recovery plan for the region.
“Coronavirus is having an unprecedented impact on our residents’ jobs, businesses and livelihoods,” said Tim. “It is only by working together as a region that we can build a recovery that works for the West of England, that builds on our strengths and lets us seize the opportunities to renew our economy while avoiding the dangers of a second peak of the virus.
“The Prime Minister has asked me to take a lead on that work, and this task force will help safely get our region moving again, from supporting our businesses, workers and their families, to getting our digital and transport networks right.”
Creative businesses in the region are gaining peer and mentoring support through our Creative Scale Up programme, which is responding to their changing needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
We’re now delivering the programme online – with the first cohort of 16 businesses receiving their mentoring sessions and participating in the peer support network using channels such as Zoom – with a focus on business resilience.
One of the members of the first cohort, the artist Luke Jerram, explains how the adapted scheme is helping businesses like his in the current climate.
We welcome news of Government investment to encourage greener, more active travel around the West of England.
“There’s a real opportunity to seize the momentum we’ve seen in recent weeks with more people cycling and walking in the West of England”, said Regional Mayor Tim Bowles.
“This new funding will accelerate my existing plans to make cycling and walking easier for people in the region, but I want us to go further and faster. So I’m working with our councils, who are responsible for the highways, to see what new schemes we can develop quickly and put in place for when restrictions are lifted further.”
Thousands of pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been donated to enhance local supplies for essential workers across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) following a plea by the Regional Mayor Tim Bowles and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) on behalf of local health and care organisations.
More than a hundred local organisations have offered their support and donated the equipment, which will be used in health and care settings in the area including hospitals and care homes.
Our West of England Growth Hub continues to support small and medium-sized enterprises from across our region, helping them navigate information on available Government support, as well as accessing other help and guidance. To speak to an enterprise executive, contact us here.
Government extends furlough scheme to October and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme opens The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. You can submit a claim for employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here.
From Wednesday 13 May, applications will be open for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus, you can find out if you are eligible for this scheme and how to claim a grant here.
Working safely during the coronavirus pandemic The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. The guidance covers 8 workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways. This guidance will help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. You can find the workplace guides here:
Sector Specific Support
The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has compiled a list of the Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations which are providing coronavirus related support for specific sectors. You can find the list here.
The West of England Mayor has welcomed the new Safe Working Charter; helping construction sites to reopen in line with the latest health and safety guidance.
Regional Mayor Tim Bowles has signed up to the charter, launched by the Government and the Home Builders Federation on 13 May. Construction companies signing up to the Charter commit to returning to work safely, including working with their subcontractors to implement social distancing and staggered start times, as well as detailed safe working practices. Read more...
Bristol Health Partners (BHP) has been designated as an Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC).
The AHSC will aim to achieve world-class health, clinical and economic outcomes for people across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “I’m delighted to see this significant advancement for the Bristol Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) in the West of England. This partnership between the NHS Trusts, CCGs, local councils and universities will prove more important than ever in helping to address the current healthcare challenges we are facing."
The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) covers
Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
WECA also supports the Local Enterprise Partnership and
Joint Committee, which includes North Somerset.
Our mailing address is:
West of England Combined Authority, 3 Rivergate, Temple Way, Bristol BS1 6ER