View this email in your browser

Taskforce discusses impacts of new Covid-19 restrictions

Regional Mayor Tim Bowles met with his Recovery Taskforce this week to discuss the impact of the new Covid-19 restrictions, which come into effect today.

A range of support is available through our Growth Hub, responding directly to what businesses say are critical for recovery and renewal.

It builds on the work that WECA has led during the pandemic including investment to support residents to walk or cycle, expanding skills programmes such as Future Bright to help residents find employment and support for businesses to adapt and recover.


Business support during lockdown

Our West of England Growth Hub offers a range of support for businesses.
It’s a free service that combines national and local business support including:
  • Latest Covid-19 business support and packages from Government which you can find here. Note that Government has extended its furlough scheme for another month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. The Job Support Scheme has also been expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
  • There are also regional programmes including financial support, innovation and technology, skills and development and strategy and problem-solving.
  • Thrive at Work West of England is a free tool to help businesses support their staff with mental health support.
  • Our free Peer Networks programme is for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) leaders who want to grow and develop their organisation. If your business has over 5 PAYE employees with a turnover of over £100,000, we encourage you to sign up today.
  • Workforce for the Future is an £8m fund aimed at helping SMEs plan and support their current and future workforce.
  • Productivity through People – a leadership development programme designed by Bath University School of Management and Be the Business.
  • The Mentoring for Growth rapid response mentoring programme is helping SMEs benefit from the expertise and experience found in larger firms

Rental e-scooter scheme starts in Bristol and Bath

E-scooters are now available to hire in Bath and Bristol as part of a 12 month trial led by WECA in partnership with Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils.

The new carbon-neutral e-scooters will take pressure off public transport, helping people who need to travel to work to get there in a socially-distant manner, leaving their cars behind.

The trial’s operator, Voi, will create more than 60 jobs in the region during the trial.

Read more…

Have your say on future development

We’re asking people living and working in the region for their views to help shape the Spatial Development Strategy, a plan to make sure homes, employment spaces and vital transport links are planned in the right places over the next 20 years.

As the region’s population grows and as people live longer, the amount and type of housing that is needed across the West of England is changing. Covid-19 has also altered the way many people are working, travelling and spending their leisure time.

The strategy will help make sure residents have the homes they need, where they want to live with the connections to get to job opportunities, education and leisure across the region.

Read more…

Hannah secures her dream job with help from Future Bright

When Hannah was furloughed she reached out to our Future Bright service, working with career progression coach Helen to develop her job application and interview skills and grow her confidence.  Now she’s secured a new job in a local school and has enrolled on training courses to develop her skills further.
Hannah said: “Future Bright are professional, kind and helpful. There is no judgement and as long as you put in the work and have a positive attitude, they really will help you reach any goals you have.
“I will always be thankful to Future Bright for helping me reach my dream job.”


Read more about Hannah’s story here

If someone you know could benefit from Future Bright’s career coaching and support, visit to find out more and get in touch.

South Bristol Enterprise Support offers vital help for businesses

South Bristol businesses are being urged to join a support scheme that provides a wide range of advice and guidance to help them in the face of significant economic challenges. More than 100 people have signed up to the South Bristol Enterprise Support (SBES) scheme since its launch in the summer. It offers a range of support to entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized enterprises including: training packages; bursaries and grant; access to workshops and business coaching; and much more.

Read more…

Milestone for £7 million Brunel Centre

We’re tracking the impact of the pandemic on our region’s economy, building up the picture over time, drawing on what businesses are telling us, and the economic indicators available.

We’re putting together regular briefings intended to deepen our understanding of the challenges faced by businesses across the region’s industries, and where there might be gaps in support coming from government.

You can find the latest briefing here.

Mayor's blog
In this week’s blog Mayor Tim Bowles talks about the Combined Authority is working to support businesses and residents through the current Covid-19 restrictions.


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

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.