You are receiving this email as you have subscribed to receive all updates from South and Vale Business Support via our website, or when registering for one of our events. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please unsubscribe below.

View a web version of this newsletter.
Welcome to the latest edition of the SVBS newsletter.

This week, we're focusing on our Green Skills contracts, currently open for bids on the South East Business Portal. There are two opportunities to apply for. Further details can be found below.

We're also highlighting Vale of White Horse District Council's Climate Action Fund, the new Secure Innovation Personalised Action Plan tool, the VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme, free business support from the Oxfordshire Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC), Enterprise Nation's Google Digital Garage event for Oxfordshire businesses and the Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership (OIEP) Regional Banking seminar.

There are lots more opportunities, events and resources to get stuck into this week, but as always, if you'd like to suggest content for the SVBS newsletter, please get in touch with us.

- South and Vale's Economic Development team
Under South and Vale's UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) E39: Green Skills intervention, we have two contracts that are currently open for bids on the South East Business Portal.

  1. Green Skills courses - £74,999

    We are looking for an organisation to provide residents and businesses operating within South and Vale with the opportunity to gain a green skills qualification, or complete a relevant green skills course. The training provider will be expected to recruit at least 40 people per district onto a relevant course in their programme during the period of the contract.

    Apply for the Green Skills courses here.

  1. Green Skills courses: Inclusive Recruitment programme - £70,000

    The winning organisation will provide an inclusive recruitment programme to support those furthest from employment in South and Vale to attend a green skills course, leading to a qualification or completion of a course. This programme should aim to address the green skills gap and support the Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership priority of Inclusive Recruitment ‘by looking at how organisations can create better pathways into work whilst understanding the barriers people face to accessing employment’.

    Apply for the Green Skills courses: Inclusive Recruitment programme here.

These contracts are open for bids until 5pm on Monday 20 May.

Please note that all projects must be completed by 31 March 2025.
Climate Action Fund 2024/2025 – now open

Applications are now open for Vale of White Horse District Council's Climate Action Fund, aimed at projects that help to tackle climate change and increase people’s awareness and knowledge of the climate emergency.

Non-profit community organisations, whose primary purpose is to benefit the residents of Vale of White Horse, and town and parish councils are invited to apply. Grants from £250 to £10,000 are available per project, with a total of £100,000 available this year.

The work could focus on areas such as the natural environment, energy, waste and consumption, or transport and travel.

Organisations that receive funding will also have the opportunity to network with other grant recipients.

The deadline for applications is Friday 28 June.

Find out more and apply via the Vale of White Horse District Council website.
Create a Secure Innovation Personalised Action Plan

The NCSC and National Protective Security Authority (NPSA) have recently launched the Secure Innovation Personalised Action Plan tool.

The tool will generate a personalised Secure Innovation Action Plan for your business, helping you decide the actions to take today to protect your business from security threats.

The tool is aimed at organisations of up to 50 employees working in the technology sector, but businesses of all sizes and sectors are welcome to use it.

Users will need to complete 25 simple questions about their small business and existing security arrangements. It should take roughly 5-10 minutes to complete the assessment.

Try out the Secure Innovation Personalised Action Plan tool here.
Apply for the VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme

The VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme helps voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) across England to deliver more efficient services for people and communities by saving money on their energy bills.

The scheme is now offering Independent Energy Assessments to help identify energy-saving opportunities in your building. The programme also offers Capital Grants to implement measures recommended in your assessment.

To get started, you'll need to use the eligibility checker to see if you’re eligible to apply for the cost and delivery of an Independent Energy Assessment (IEA) or a Capital Grant. If you’re successful, you'll be matched with an independent energy assessor who will work with you to assess your building and help identify energy-saving opportunities.

Capital Grants of between £2,000 and £150,000 can be used to install capital energy efficiency measures.

Independent Energy Assessment closes for applications on Thursday 20 June. The application window for the Capital Grant closes on Friday 14 August.

Apply for the scheme via the Groundwork website.
Free business support from the Oxfordshire Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC)

Located in the Oxford Westgate Library, the BIPC can offer businesses in Oxfordshire access to free resources, training and events.

Whether you’re just setting out, need advice on protecting your intellectual property or simply have a brilliant idea, the team can offer you tailored 1:1 support.

Services include:

  • 1:1 support sessions
  • Valuable market research databases
  • Hybrid workshop room
  • Marketing suite
  • Audio visual equipment
  • Large mind mapping white board walls
  • Private meeting booths
  • Computer stations
Find out how you can get involved via the BIPC website.
Google Digital Garage: Oxfordshire

In partnership with Google, Enterprise Nation is hosting a free, in-person workshop for people who run or want to start a business.

Friday 17 May   |   10am - 3pm

The event will take place at the Oxfordshire Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC), located in the Oxford Westgate Library. 

The Digital Garage is a non-profit nationwide programme from Google, delivering free digital skills training via an online learning platform. This platform provides individuals with a tailored training plan to learn digital skills, completely for free.

Topics covered include:

  • Boosting your productivity with AI
  • Marketing strategy and AI
  • Problem solving like a consultant
  • Getting your business visible on Google
Register for your free place via Eventbrite.
OIEP Regional Banking Seminar

Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership (OIEP) and Avon Mutual have teamed up to host a free, in-person event on why Regional Banks are important, the process and pitfalls of setting them up, and the opportunities for Oxfordshire.

Thursday 23 May   |   6pm - 8pm
Old Fire Station, Oxford

Community banks are an alternative to traditional, commercial banks. With a specific focus on their locality, community banks can address the financial needs of SMEs, ordinary people and community groups. Community banks also have a remit to invest more ethically than commercial banks, being regional anchor institutions held in trust for the benefit of their members.

Regional mission-led banks have been recommended by the RSA Inclusive Growth Commission and the Community Wealth Building movement as central pillars in improving local economic and social outcomes.

Avon Mutual are set to open the first of a wave of community-owned regional banks in the UK, taking local savings and using them to create local loans.

Come along to the seminar to find out more.

Copyright © 2024 South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, all rights reserved.

To find out more about how the council holds, uses and stores your personal data, please click on the appropriate council’s link:

South Oxfordshire District Council   | 
Vale of White Horse District Council