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Metro Mayor Dan Norris full of beans as recovery begins

Newly-elected Metro Mayor Dan Norris popped into a local café in Bath on Monday as local businesses welcomed customers back for indoor dining for the first time in many months.

He said: “Local people know how great our West of England cafes, pubs, restaurants and attractions are, so let’s all back our brilliant businesses, while continuing to follow the Covid safety guidance. It’s time to open those purses and wallets.”

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Free digital support for SMEs

As part of our Workforce for the Future Programme, UWE Bristol has launched ‘Digital Skills: Workforce for the Future’, offering free support to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to improve business productivity and sustainability by enhancing the digital skills and capabilities of their workforce.
Working with the our Growth Hub, the University will deliver support to SMEs from any industry that has a business presence in the West of England (Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire).

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New Metro Mayor buzzing to protect bees

Metro Mayor Dan Norris visited a local nature reserve at Folly Farm, between Bristol and Bath on World Bee Day yesterday and spread the message that we can all do our bit to protect bees and pollinators by letting our garden, grass verges and roadsides bloom.

Dan spoke with Ian Barrett and Amy Coulthard, of Avon Wildlife Trust’s “B-lines” team, and heard about how they recently introduced Exmoor ponies to help to create good open habitats to support bees and other pollinating insects.

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Deadline approaching to bid for UKCRF funding 

We’re calling on councils, universities, colleges, third sector organisations and others to get in touch and submit bids for the UK Community Renewal Fund (UKCRF) funding by midnight Friday 28 May 2021.

We’re collating bids for the UKCRF, which has been introduced by the UK Government for 2021/22 to support people and communities most in need across the UK.

Eligible projects must fall within the themes of investment in skills, local business or community and place, and located in the WECA area (Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire area).

For more info on how to apply for funding, please visit


Together West of England - the Queen's Awards for Enterprise

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.
The Awards can bring substantial benefits to winners, including: increased staff morale; boosts to turnover and international trade; greater recognition and excellent marketing opportunities. Winners are also invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace.
It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase the strength of the West of England and we’d encourage all businesses to review the eligibility criteria and apply.

Find out more....

Keynsham High Street improvements 

Works to enhance Keynsham High Street are set to start on May 24 to help create a better retail environment, encourage an increase in footfall and support the local economy.

The permanent improvements include footpath widening and resurfacing, better signage and cycling and bus stop facilities. There will also be new street furniture, streetlights, landscaping and trees.

The scheme is funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth and Getting Building Funds, administered by the West of England Combined Authority. It is also funded by the Combined Authority through its Love our High Streets programme.


Peer Networks programme open for summer

Our Growth Hub's Peer Networks programme is back with a bang for summer 2021. Designed specifically for leaders of small and medium sized businesses, it's a free peer-to-peer networking programme complete with 1:1 support to help your business recover and grow.

From finance and HR to sales, marketing and more, the programme provides expert professional facilitators ready to create a trusted support network bespoke for your needs.

Don't miss out, apply here today and secure your place for June's cohort.

Travel advice as restrictions ease

As Covid-19 infections fall and vaccination rates increase government restrictions are being eased meaning more people can come together safely.

Places will be busier and on some buses you might need to sit next to someone as all forward and side facing seats will now be available to use. Standing on the lower deck is also permitted where necessary. 

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Upcoming events
  • Developing a Brand Strategy for your Business - 26 May - 10 - 1pm - sign up here
  • LinkedIn for Business - the Power of Online Networking - 8 June - 10 - 1pm - sign up here

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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