Business & Skills news - Invest in Bath

Invest in Bath is the business arm of Bath & North East Somerset Council and offers useful information on the local talent, business support and networks, as well as exciting new opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors.

Here is an overview of their latest opportunities:

The NEW Employment and Skills Pod

The Employment and Skills Pod is a community service recently launched to deliver a range of employment information, resources and training programmes using a variety of digital and physical channels to encourage our community to seek and attain work. Bath and North East Somerset residents can ring 0300 247 0050 to reach the Employment and Skills pod Mondays and Wednesdays, for the opportunity to talk to an adviser to assess individual digital and job-seeking barriers.

Creative Business & Freelancer Grants – Now Open (closes 7th May).

This will give creative businesses the funds and guidance needed to review business plans and explore new opportunities in response to the challenges presented by Covid-19. The business grants fund creative projects that support recovery and resilience, employ freelance creatives, engage local communities and advance diversity and inclusion. Grants will range from £5,000 to £10,000.

Creative Freelancer Grants

This will give freelancers the funds and guidance needed to adapt business plans and explore new opportunities in response to the challenges presented by the pandemic. The grant fund will give creative freelancers the opportunity to become more resilient by delivering a project over a time period of up to 6 months that will develop their own creative product, practice or service, in response to the pandemic. Grants will range from £1,000 – £3,000.

Click here to find out more.

Cultural and Creative Business Support Programme

The Cultural and Creative Business Support Programme is a sector specific business support programme designed to build resilience and support change in response to Covid-19.

This programme will support individuals and management teams to reformulate and adapt operating and financial models and business plans in response to current challenges.

Expressions of interest are welcome for the grant now. The programme will be open to all sub sectors of the creative industries in May 2021. To find out more and express your interest in the grants or business support programme, click here.

Community Recovery Fund

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is inviting applications from voluntary and community organisations to help it deliver support for residents through a new fund, as a key part of the region’s recovery plan. WECA’s £1.4m Community Recovery Fund will help the most disadvantaged in community, including those who have suffered disproportionately as a result of Covid-19. The new £1.4m programme will support residents, groups and communities (including people with disabilities, young people, lone parents, women and people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities) who face the greatest risks and detrimental social, health or economic impacts from the pandemic. Find out more here.

UK Community Renewal Fund

The £220 million UK Community Renewal Fund (UKCRF) has been introduced by the government as additional funding for 2021/22 to support people and communities most in need across the UK. It also intends to help the UK move smoothly away from the EU Structural Fund Programme and is a pilot programme to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The fund is seeking to support “innovative responses to local challenges and local needs across the UK, spanning urban, rural and coastal areas. UKCRF will test greater integration of types of interventions and greater flexibility between investment themes. This includes removing barriers that people face in accessing skills and labour market opportunities, building the evidence base for future interventions and exploring the viability of new ideas.”

WECA as lead authority for the fund in the region is required to gather applications from Local Authorities, Universities, Colleges, Third Sector organisations and others. Bids cannot be submitted for projects that benefit a single entity (for example a single business) and applicants are encouraged to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects (£500,000+) where this is possible.

Eligible projects must fall within the priority themes of:

  • Investment in Skills

  • Investment in Local Business

  • Investment in Community and Place

  • Supporting people into employment

If you have an idea or would like to discuss this fund please contact the Invest in Bath team. Email:

SME Brexit Support Fund

Now open for applications for businesses new to importing and exporting, small businesses can also apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU. The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes. Click here for more information including details of how to apply.

The Restart Grant Scheme

The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to help them reopen safely as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Grants are available from 1st April 2021 until 20th June 2021. Through this scheme, eligible businesses in the non-essential retail sector may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 from their local council. More information available here.

Additional Restriction Grants are currently in the process of being finalised and Invest in Bath will reopen the window for this shortly alongside the other WECA authorities. Payments will be made to existing applicants and there is a process for new applicants who will have a short 2-week window to apply. Find out more here.

If you have any networking events you would like one of the Invest in Bath team to attend, please do let them know or if there is anything you would like them to promote please send it to