Business and Economy

Growth Support Programme launches initiative to support business recovery

Growth Support Programme logo

Posted on: 17 December 2020

The Heart of the South West Growth Support Programme (GSP) is launching its new “Adapt + Revive” initiative which aims to equip businesses in the region with vital digital skills to help support economic recovery.

Businesses across Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay will be offered support and training focusing on digital marketing, e-commerce and website management through the scheme.

Adapt and Revive logo A number of training webinars are also being aimed specifically at businesses operating in the tourism, food and drink and retail sectors.

Since the Heart of the South West GSP launched in 2017, it has supported more than 2,000 sole traders, micro businesses and limited companies. They have benefited from free specialist training, support and impartial advice available through the programme.

Businesses that have been through the GSP have been able to apply the insights and skills gained through the scheme to greatly improve their business’ practice and digital presence online.

Through the programme, which continues until the end of March, businesses receive an initial 1:1 appointment with a local business adviser who is able to review the existing business’ strategy and identify further support. After an initial consultation, businesses that qualify for additional support are offered a further nine hours of advice in 1:1 sessions and online webinars, covering a range of essential business topics: finance, human resources, innovation, digital marketing, business planning and e-commerce.

Becky Wright, who runs New Leaf Life Design in Somerset, used the GSP to improve her digital skills and improve her business’ website. She said: “My GSP advisor did a digital marketing review with me, looking at my digital productivity, cyber security, digital leadership and management to help me develop a clearer digital strategy for the business. The ability to self-manage my Search Engine Optimisation has definitely saved us money.”

Photo of Councillor Rufus Gilbert

Councillor Rufus Gilbert

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Training, said: “The support being offered on digital marketing and online retail through this initiative, has become even more valuable to businesses since the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. I would encourage anyone who would benefit from the training to register their interest now.

“We’re really pleased with the number of businesses who have responded positively to the Growth Support Programme since it started. The continued business advice that the Programme offers with be increasingly helpful as businesses continue to navigate the changing economic landscape – especially when considering the implications of Covid-19 and the end of the UK Brexit Transition period next month.”

The Heart of the South West Growth Support Programme project is receiving up to £1,294,302 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

To find out more about the Growth Support Programme, check your business’ eligibility and to register your interest, see the page on the Growth Hub’s website.

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