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Welcome to the latest edition of the SVBS newsletter.

This week, we're focusing on our Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) grant scheme, which is currently open for applications. We're hosting two drop-in sessions at Cornerstone Arts Centre for those who would like some guidance with their project and filling in the application form. Further details can be found below.

We're also highlighting key information for the General Election, Tourism South East's Beautiful South Tourism Awards, the Code Red Oxfordshire Business Resilience Scheme, the One Planet Living Festival 2024 and the next Thame Business Breakfast event.

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

We realise that the REPF grant scheme application process is lengthy and complex, and we want to reiterate that we are here to help if you need any assistance.

To help, we'll be at Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot for two drop-in sessions on Friday 7 June and Wednesday 12 June, from 10am - 2pm.

If you want to chat about your project to find out if it's eligible, or need help filling in the application form, come and chat to us in person. We'll be located in the study area, just behind the reception desk.

Further details on the scheme can be found below.
The second round of the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) is now open for applications from South and Vale based organisations.

REPF offers up to £75,000 of capital funding for projects that help to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities.

The application window closes at midday on Monday 1 July.

Projects could include, but are not limited to:
  • Net zero infrastructure (e.g. EV chargers and solar panels)
  • diversification of farm businesses (e.g. Shepherd Huts)
  • creation and expansion of rural leisure and tourism businesses
  • purchase of equipment
  • creation of multi-functional rural business hubs
  • business infrastructure (e.g. broadband or EV charging points)
  • establishment of rural community businesses
  • equipment to support the promotion of local food and drink products
  • community energy schemes (e.g. community solar power projects)
  • kitchens in community hubs
  • resilience infrastructure and nature-based solutions (e.g. creation of drainage ponds).
Please read our Grants Policy, Standard Conditions and Capital Expenditure documents on our South and Vale websites for full information on the REPF grant scheme before applying.
General Election - key information

The General Election takes place on Thursday 4 July. We've compiled a list of key dates that you need to know:

Further information about voting in the General Election can be found on our South and Vale websites.
Where possible, please also display one of our General Election posters on your staff and public noticeboards.
Apply for the Beautiful South Tourism Awards

The Beautiful South Tourism Awards are now open for applications, and we're encouraging businesses in South and Vale to get involved.

The awards categories are as follows:
  • Accommodation
  • Food and drink
  • Wedding and business venues
  • Unsung heroes
  • Dog-friendly
  • New business
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Events
  • Experiences
  • Visitor information
  • Attractions
  • Future of Hospitality
  • International Tourism
The deadline for entries is Sunday 23 June. Apply via the Tourism South East website.
Code Red Oxfordshire Business Resilience Scheme

Have you thought about continuity and resilience planning for your business?

Floods, cyber-attacks and other such incidents can happen at any time and could have serious implications if a business is not prepared.

OxLEP Business is part of a new one-year pilot scheme called Code Red, which aims to help businesses in Oxfordshire and across the Thames Valley understand how they can prevent, be better prepared for, and respond to emergencies.

Businesses can opt-in to receive SMS
messages that will provide information and advice, complementing existing services, such as the Environment Agency flood alerts. OxLEP Business will also be delivering workshops on preparedness, continuity and resilience during this year, to offer businesses additional support.

If this is of interest, please get in touch with
One Planet Living Festival 2024

Using their share of the UKSPF funding, One Planet Abingdon is hosting a One Planet Living Festival, a colourful event to bring the local community together.

Saturday 15 June   |   10am - 4pm

The event will focus on the environment and educate visitors about the small changes they can make to improve their carbon footprints.

There will be stalls with eco and social enterprise wares, youth stalls, music, poetry, dance, performances, culture, food and more.

There will also be workshops for families, bike checks, a repair café and an art exhibition.

Find out more on the One Planet Abingdon website.
Thame Business Breakfast - Decarbonise your website

Did you know that the internet contributes to 3.7% of global carbon emissions, which is more than aviation?

Using their UKSPF funding, Thame Town Council has partnered with Pentangle Technology Limited to host a free, in-person business breakfast to learn about how to decarbonise your business’ digital footprint.

Friday 12 July   |   9am – 10.30am
Thame Barns Centre

The session is suitable for people at all levels of the business who have any involvement in their company website, and will give you plenty of ideas to take away and implement.

Topics include:
  • making your website use less carbon at a server level
  • reducing the load on your user’s browser
  • best practice sustainable web design.
Register for your free place via Thame Town Council's website.

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