The University of Plymouth has been awarded £425,000 in Government funding to help businesses tackle the effects of the recession, it was announced today by the Higher Education Funding Council and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
The funding, which is being matched by the University is specifically aimed at providing rapid action and short-term help to make a difference to those struggling as a result of the recession. The University has already launched an Enterprise Solutions campaign aimed at drawing together all of the different ways it can work with businesses and individuals to create a one-stop entry point to make it as easy as possible for them to access information, advice and guidance.
Over the next 18 months, the University will use the financial support, from the Economic Challenge Investment Fund, in a range of ways. These include:
- Enhanced access to the University through the expanded Information Gateway service in the Roland Levinsky Building
- Providing an information, diagnostic and matching service for the needs of business and individuals
- An innovative, flexible voucher scheme worth up to £3,500 to enable access to University facilities and services
- Creating new incubation space for science, technology and engineering-based businesses on the University of Plymouth campus
- Enhanced access to University contracts for small to medium sized enterprises
- Internships and work placements for graduates
- Help to identify higher level skill needs
- Careers advice and guidance with supported access to job opportunities
"This is very welcome news that will enable us to support people and businesses in Plymouth through the downturn and will put us on the front foot for recovery. It is a very positive step in the right direction and demonstrates the Government are paying attention to both the challenges faced by Plymouth and the opportunities they present," said Linda Gilroy MP.
The University is also organising an event on 20 April to give South West businesses recession-busting survival tips and support. The Enterprise Biting Back! event is aimed at helping businesses to adapt to the changing economic environment and to take advantage of funding for skills and accessing knowledge.
There will also be support and information available about leadership during tough times and how to improve competitiveness. Held in partnership with Business Link, the Federation of Small Businesses and The Herald, this free event is open to businesses across the region.
It will feature speakers including the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Wendy Purcell, Bill Martin, editor of The Herald, business psychologist John Potter and marketing and business development consultant John Parker.
Workshops, networking sessions and exhibitions will also be available to ensure that delegates get the most from the event. And businesses including GOSS Interactive and the Bandvulc Group will be on hand to explain how working with the University has helped them to grow and develop.
To find out more about Enterprise Solutions or to book a place at Enterprise Biting Back! email businessservices [a] plymouth.ac (p) uk or telephone 0800 052 5600.