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£3m for innovative 5G trial to boost business

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has secured over £3m from Government to test how the country can seize the full benefits of 5G and help businesses harness the power of modern technology.

Our 5G Logistics programme will develop 5G products and services to support operations at Bristol Port and Gravity Smart Campus, with a focus on security, traceability, and real-time tracking of goods.


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New business support for non-EU migrants  

New enterprise ideas from non-EU refugees, migrants and newly arrived communities are set to get business support through a major new project led by ACH.

The project will be delivered by ACH alongside the University of Bristol and the West of England Combined Authority, through our West of England Growth Hub. The project aims to assist 500 existing businesses or pre-start entrepreneurs, creating economic growth and new job opportunities.

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Mayor's call to follow lockdown guidance 


West of England Mayor Tim Bowles is urging residents to follow the latest government guidance to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

He also reminded businesses that there is a huge amount of business support available through WECA, welcoming the news of an additional £4.6 billion in government funding for businesses affected by the pandemic.


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Businesses should get in touch with our Growth Hub, for help with everything from moving to trading online, to mental health advice for employees, as well as retraining.



Kinetic Kitchen is one company that has benefited from Growth Hub support. When Covid-19 changed meant the company had to rethink its business model to survive, our West of England Growth Hub team worked with them to set up and grow new online sales and develop long-term financial thinking, and tap into the business network across the catering and hospitality sector.

Business owner Harry said: “The Growth Hub has been fantastic with the support it’s given for Kinetic Kitchen. They’ve given us that comfort and support to know what we need to do this year, next year and long term. The growth that we’ve seen as a business is hand in hand with the support we’ve been given.”

 
Discover how our Growth Hub could support you and your business: www.wearegrowth.co.uk

Mass transit project to transform transport

We have announced the next steps in our ambitious plans to transform the region’s transport network to meet the needs of the growing population. With 1.1 million residents, the West of England’s population is growing at a faster rate than other regions and this is putting a strain on the transport network.
 
We have invested £1.5m to identify options for mass transit, a high capacity transport network that could be made up of several different types of transport. Over the next few months route options will be developed across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire that have the potential to connect the highest volumes of people, city and town centres and employment hubs.


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E-scooter trial expands 

Following the successful launch of our e-scooter trial in October, the operating area for e-scooters has been expanded in Bristol and Bath. This will allow people to reach new destinations by e-scooter including Bishopston, St Werburghs, Easton and Bedminster in Bristol and Oldfield Park and Bathwick in Bath.

The Voi-4-Heroes programme has also been reintroduced during the current lockdown period – giving free e-scooter rides to NHS workers, emergency service personnel and the armed forces offering an alternative way to access essential work.
 

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Upcoming meetings:

Mayor's blog
In his first blog of 2021, Mayor Tim Bowles looks ahead to transport investment being rolled out across the region. 

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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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