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The Marches LEP – Chairman’s Bulletin No. 39


May 23, 2012 by oswestrychamberoftrade

In this issue:

Startup Career Milkrounds Redundant Buildings Grant Scheme

SMEs can benefit from new talent

A new initiative has been launched which aims to boost enterprise by linking entrepreneurial students with SMEs. The Startup Career Milkrounds aims to give up to 4,000 university students and graduates the chance to engage with small firms in a bid to raise the skills gap and create jobs.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are not only the backbone of the national economy, they make up around 85 per cent of our regional economy here in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. This scheme will give students and graduates the chance to secure placements, learn new vocational skills and create relationships with companies which will benefit from new talent.

Although this scheme is being run via university enterprise organisations, I hope this will demonstrate to Marches SMEs that by linking up with schools and colleges in our region as well, they can not only develop the next generation of entrepreneurs but also gain access to new ideas and talent which could benefit their own business.

The scheme also ties in with work the Marches LEP is carrying out across the region to identify skills gaps, and develop a plan to tailor the provision of adult skills to the needs of employers. The Marches LEP was recently awarded £100,000 to help support this work through the Enterprise Zone Skills Fund. The funding will see the LEP working in partnership with colleges and independent providers across the Marches to develop a skills plan not just for the benefit of Enterprise Zone area in Hereford, but across the wider LEP area.

Grants available to breathe new life into buildings

I’d like to remind small businesses and start-ups in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin that they can access capital grant support of between £3,000 and up to £50,000 to transform redundant buildings into a base for their enterprises.

The funding from the Marches Redundant Building Grant Scheme is available for a maximum of 30 per cent contribution towards the project cost, but cannot be used to assist with residential conversion, or buildings converted for agricultural or horticultural uses. A pot of £1.5 million is available for this scheme which received funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Endorsed by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and administered by Herefordshire Council, it is hoped the scheme will create around 300 jobs between now and March 2017. Businesses interested in finding out more about the scheme or wanting to speak to the RBG team about their project can contact 01432 260662 or email

For further information on the work of the Marches LEP go to our website at, follow us on Twitter @MarchesLEP and we’d be delighted to hear your feedback at



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