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Torridge Business Bulletin – April / May 2023

Support For Farmers

Navigating the Agricultural Transition Between 2021 and 2027, the government will reduce and then stop Direct Payments. Instead, farmers will be supported to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare, and reduce carbon emissions. This is the biggest change in farm support for generations and all and a challenge for all Farmers as to how they will adapt.

The Future Farming Resilience Fund has been funded by Defra to allow organisations to support farmers and land managers with this transition. The support, which includes workshops, events and more, is free to any farmer or land manager currently in receipt of BPS payments. Find out more about what support is available in your local area.

Designing and Building with Biology

Thursday 25 May | 1pm to 4pm – Node Network Barnstaple

Join Petroc for a fascinating discussion to explore the principles of Building Biology and Biophilic Design and how they are revolutionising the way we approach building design.

The event is fully funded by the European Social Fund and will include a light lunch and refreshments, as well as the opportunity to network with other businesses in attendance. to book click the link below or scan the QR code

Eventbrite designing-and-building-with-biology-tickets

Apply for Energy Bill Support for Off-Grid Businesses and Charities

Do you own or run a non-domestic property eg a farm, warehouse, pub or hotel, which is not connected to the gas grid but instead uses LPG, solid fuel, wood or kerosene (heating oil)? You can apply for support towards energy bills. Find out more about the support available: 

Apply for energy bill support for non-domestic properties – GOV.UK (

Fully Funded Support for Tech Businesses

Barclays Eagle Labs has been awarded a new ‘Digital Growth Grant’ by the UK Government that will allow them to offer support to boost small and scaling tech businesses. Applications for businesses to access this support launched today and it will help drive growth in the UK tech sector over a two-year period.

SME’s can access a number of new programmes, one-to-one business mentoring sessions and much more. You can read the full announcement here: Barclays Eagle Labs launches two-year programme of business support to drive growth across the UK tech sector  and find out more about some of the programmes here: Digital Growth Grant | (

Digital Leadership Scheme – Driving Digital

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? The time is now to drive digital transformation and catapult your organisation into the future. 

Introducing Driving Digital – a fully funded, training, mentoring and personal development programme for SME’s with 250 or fewer employees operating in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset or Torbay. 

Driving Digital is your chance to lead your digital transformation learn how digital innovation can transform your organisation. Embracing the digital age, gaining a competitive edge, boosting staff skills and satisfaction, improving productivity and working towards a more sustainable future. Get in touch to find out more, quoting Driving Digital Business (for businesses with 10 or less employees) or Driving Digital Transformation (for organisations with 10 – 250 employees): Contact Us – Heart of sw growthhub

Free cybersecurity support for small businesses

Regional police are now offering free cybersecurity support to local charities and businesses. 

We all know someone who has been scammed, and with that in mind, the South West Cyber Resilience Centre has been set up to offer you simple guidance to get some basic digital safeguards in place. Businesses can join up and receive simple help like e-learning for your staff, a twelve-week bite-sized programme on the simple measures that you can implement in place in a few minutes.

You can also access free training, use a student cadre to test your website and systems security, or take a critical look at your continuity plans and policies. With Home Office funding in place, the police-led team is genuinely here to offer you something for nothing. Around two in five businesses spot a cyber attack every year, and even the smallest of businesses are vulnerable. Find out more and join up here:

Free Digital Guides for Devon Businesses

Heart of the South West Growth Hub’s free digital guides are a valuable resource for small business owners who are seeking to improve their online digital presence and business marketing.

  • ‘Business Guide to Social Media‘ – discover the secrets to effectively leveraging various social media platforms to boost your brand’s visibility, increase customer engagement, and drive sales.
  • Small Business Owners Guide to using Chat GPT for your Marketing‘ – learn how to harness the power of artificial intelligence to create compelling content and enhance your overall marketing efforts.
  • Digital Information Pack‘ – a wealth of resources that cover a wide range of digital tools, learning opportunities, and industry-leading best practices

Get in Touch today to receive your free digital guides

Maths Multiply with Learn Devon

If you have employees aged 19 or over who don’t have a maths GCSE at grade C (or equivalent), Learn Devon’s Multiply programme can help. 

Learn Devon offers a range of free short courses and workshops to boost maths skills. Having a good understanding of basic maths can be incredibly helpful in day-to-day life from managing money to calculating costs. 

During each course, their friendly tutors will help learners to use basic maths skills in everyday situations. Through the courses, learners will be able to learn about measuring, multiplication, division, how to budget, using Excel formulas and more. 

Explore the courses here

Free Promotion for your Business on the Discover App – don’t get left behind by your competition!

Keen to promote your business for FREE? Then take up the option of a free listing through the Discover app. The app, which is free to download, uses the latest technology to connect users to the opportunities available to them on their doorsteps, including shops, restaurants, bars, events and experiences. 

Simply get in touch with Discover and they will help promote your business using your own branding, imagery and anything else you want to be included in the listing. 

Features of the app include:

  • each town has its own area on the app meaning it can be tailored to specific locations
  • details of local businesses, special offers and links to online purchases
  • places to eat and things to do, including walking, cycling, history and even nature trails!
  • ability to identify people’s location so when they open the app, it will show them locally available content
  • Events, cultural and leisure facilities promoted for free
  • allows users to tailor their feed to what interests and matters to them
  • push notifications if there’s a message that needs to be communicated quickly

Any businesses that would like to add information or have any questions should email or download Discover free through the App Store or Google Play.

Devon Recovery Projects

Helping Devon Businesses Recover, Adapt, and Thrive

GetSet Adapt offers support to businesses across Devon to help them recover from the impacts of the pandemic and to build back better.

Through fully funded 1-2-1 support and bespoke advice, GetSet Adapt will review your current business model and accounts and help your business to develop a robust action plan to help with rapid recovery as well as enabling future growth and sustainability.  

The programme includes:

  • Business Diagnostic – Review of current business model and financials to determine recovery strategy and tactics, and what further support your business needs.
  • 1-2-1 Support – Dedicated face-to-face sessions with a specialist Business Advisor to determine bespoke action plan for recovery and growth
  • Workshops & Masterclasses – Tailored workshops/masterclasses around business resilience, business models and other key areas needed for recovery and growth
  • Online Learning – 24/7 access to interactive learning modules/resources library to help your business recover and grow

For more information, and to apply online click here

Digital support for small businesses

New online support is available to help small and medium sized businesses to be more savvy with their digital skills.

It includes an online self-assessment tool, called the Digital Maturity Index, devised to enable businesses to gain an understanding of their digital strengths and weaknesses.

It also offers insights into digital tools that may help their business to develop and grow.

Once businesses have completed the self-assessment, they’ll receive targeted information that can guide them to access funded digital training courses and resources or further advice from one of the project’s expert digital advisors.

There’s also a Digital Course Finder, providing an extensive database of digital skills training courses delivered by training providers across Devon, as well as online digital skills courses.

You can read more about the programme in the story on our news page.

Business Grants for Young Entrepreneurs in the South West

Are you a young entrepreneur, age 18-30 in Devon? Been trading for less than two years? You can apply for grant funding for South West based start-ups and businesses. Get access to a business mentor who can act as an independent sounding board for any business issue you would like to discuss and meet a network of other people in the same position as you. Find out more about the support available:  South West Enterprise Fund (SWEF) Business Grants for 18 – 30 Year Olds

New guidance hub for food businesses

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has redeveloped their guidance for food businesses. There’s a new business guidance hub with all the information you need for running your food business.

They have also developed a new, easy to navigate guide for those starting up a new food business. The FSA want to make sure their guidance works for you, so please help them to gather feedback on the site by completing this short survey:

Torridge Council have also produced a guide and other information which you can find here Starting and Registering a Food Business in Torridge

As a reminder all new Food Businesses must register with their local Council 28 days before starting to trade. 

2023/24 South West Tourism Awards 

The 2023/24 Tourism Awards are now open and tourism and hospitality businesses from the South West are invited to enter. 

The awards are free to enter and offer businesses the chance to win not only regionally but – for matching categories – to progress to the national VisitEngland awardsThe categories include pubs, cafes and restaurants as well as accommodation, spa, wedding and business venues, attractions, events and experiences. There are also awards for unsung heroes, new businesses, dog friendly, water efficiency, accessibility and sustainability.

Online workshops are being held to help businesses complete their entry forms, and ask any questions on 17th and 23rd May. Entries must be submitted online no later than the deadline of midnight on Sunday 18th June; more details about all the schemes can be found here