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Candidates announced for the West of England Mayoral Election


The list of candidates standing in the West of England Mayoral election has been published today (9 April).
 
On Thursday 6 May, residents in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire will be able to vote for a West of England Mayor.
 
The Regional Mayor leads the West of England Combined Authority; leading the development of regional business, skills, housing and transport – issues that impact people living and working across the region.
 
WECA also leads on the recovery plan for the region, to make sure that the right support and infrastructure is in place for residents and businesses to drive the region’s recovery.

 
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New £1.4m Community Recovery Fund

 

We’re inviting applications from voluntary and community organisations to help us deliver support for residents through our new £1.4m Community Recovery Fund. It will help the most disadvantaged within our communities, including those who have suffered disproportionately as a result of Covid-19.

The successful voluntary and community organisation will become the managing partner for the Community Recovery Fund, taking a key role in building the capacity of the voluntary and community sector to deliver support to their residents as well as making sure funding reaches the communities who need it most.
 

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WECA has all the right ingredients for business support


A Bristol-based food producer has found the recipe for success with the help of our West of England Growth Hub.
 
Tiffins produces frozen curries and chutneys from its takeaway premises on St Michael’s Hill, Kingsdown. When the impact of Covid-19 hit, business owner Jay Jethwa got in touch with the Growth Hub for support. Jay said: “It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and give up. But thanks to WECA and the Growth Hub’s help, I am that much closer to my goals and I am learning so much and meeting and making so many new contacts.”
 
Through the Growth Hub businesses of any size in the West of England can access free information and guidance on a variety of issues including online trading, accounting, workforce planning, employability support, training, skills development and coaching.
 
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Hundreds of free qualifications on offer to boost skills and jobs


From 1 April 2021, many more adults within the WECA region will be able to take their first full Level 3 qualification (equivalent to an A-level) for free.

We’ve already reformed adult education funding rules to enable adults aged 19-24 and 50+ to undertake a first full and second full Level 3 qualification for free. With the launch of the Government's Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs, adults who are 24 and over and do not yet have A-levels, an advanced technical diploma or equivalent, can also take their first full Level 3 qualification for free.


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Sustainable sixth form centre completed

Work has been completed on a £7m specialist STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and creative further education centre at a college in Bristol.

The three-storey Brunel Centre building at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College puts sustainability and wellbeing at its heart, with a number of key features prominent in its design.

The building has been funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund, administered by WECA.


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Help us to tackle digital poverty


We’re supporting a business-led campaign to supply community groups, schools and charities in need of laptops and other IT equipment.

We have joined forces with Business in the Community’s National Business Response Network who are leading the campaign.

Covid-19 and the move to working online is challenging for many communities across the West of England and the National Business Response Network was set up to match business resources to community needs.

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Stress Awareness Month

 
West of England businesses are being encouraged to seek support to help them respond to their employees’ mental health concerns during Stress Awareness Month (this April).

Advice is available through our Thrive at Work West of England programme, which aims to address the key mental health issues that businesses say are affecting their employees.

Training is targeted towards small and medium-sized businesses and ethnic minority-led companies to help support those who may have been impacted the most by Covid-19. It includes e-learning developed with leading mental health organisations, including Mind, to equip managers with the confidence and skills to have supportive conversations with their staff about mental health and wellbeing.

The package of support, including training resources, is available through our West of England Growth Hub website.
Upcoming events
  • Black Entrepreneurship - Community Conversation - 12 April - 9:30am - sign up here
  • Bristol & Bath FinTech Cluster Showcase - 22 April - 10am - sign up here
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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

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