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The West of England Combined Authority is supporting the region’s recovery as shops begin to open by helping those who cannot work from home to return to work safely.

  • From Monday 15 June passengers must wear a face covering on public transport. Posters will be displayed in bus shelters advising passengers how to keep our buses safe.
  • We're working with transport operators to increase services and introduce social distancing measures.
  • We’re calling on businesses to encourage cycling and walking and change start and finish times where possible to avoid staff having to travel at peak times.

For the latest information on staying safe whilst travelling in the West of England, please visit our Travelwest site here.
For support for businesses to encourage active travel visit Travelwest.info/business

Trading better online 

As part of our targeted business support programme following the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve just launched Trading Better Online, which is designed to help small businesses enhance their web presence by adopting new technology or new digital practices.

Through the scheme, businesses will be matched to a consultant and supported through up to four days of free hands-on support.

Delivered in partnership with TechSPARK, Trading Better Online is available to SMEs with between 5 and 250 employees based in the West of England (Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire).

SMEs in the region can access a range of tailored business support through the West of England Growth Hub, which offers free, one-to-one advice and guidance for SMEs to help them innovate and adapt, build resilience and grow.

Read more...

New mental health support programme 

We are investing £100,000 to develop Thrive West - offering new support to the region’s businesses to help improve mental health and wellbeing for employees, and address some of the problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact on productivity.
 
Thrive West will help to raise awareness of mental health support, provide information, advice and guidance, and develop online tools. We will share learning and best practice, and support others to embed good mental health support in workplaces across the West of England.
Read more.
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Investing in cycling, walking and business recovery
£13m investment in measures to encourage cycling and walking is set to be discussed at the first virtual meeting of the WECA Committee next week.
 
An investment of £3m is recommended to underwrite the cost of temporary measures to help people walk and cycle while maintaining social distancing. By underwriting this investment WECA would be able to help councils to immediately implement measures in advance of receiving government funding. Government has made an indicative allocation of £3.7m to the region for this work with the first tranche of funding, £741k likely to be received by WECA shortly. WECA is proposing to invest an extra £10m of new money for longer-term solutions to encourage cycling and walking. This could significantly increase cycling and walking within the region, building on the increase in active travel that has taken place in recent months.
 
The committee will also discuss investing a further £5m to kick-start the region’s business recovery and support the early work of the new West of England Regional Economic Recovery Taskforce
 
Led by Regional Mayor Tim Bowles, the taskforce involves senior figures from industry, education and local government will meet again next week to look at next steps, scenarios and principles to shape recovery plans.

Read more…
Economic briefing 

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 fortnightly 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.

Meetings 
  • 10.30am 17 June - WECA Overview and Scrutiny Committee
  • 10.00am 19 June -Joint meeting - West of England Combined Authority Committee and West of England Joint Committee

Mayor's Blog

In his latest blog, Mayor Tim Bowles talks about business support for SMEs provided through our West of England Growth Hub. 
Read more...
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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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