Advanced manufacturing

Avon Protection looks to put impact of US mask delays behind it with return to growth next year

October 15, 2021
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Avon Protection looks to put impact of US mask delays behind it with return to growth next year

Defence manufacturing group Avon Protection has said it is set for growth next year after overcoming delays in military orders from the US. In a trading update the Melksham-headquartered firm, which specialises in protective gear, masks and breathing equipment for the military and first-responder markets, said its medium-term bounce back was underpinned by a strong...

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Rising costs and labour shortages combine to end post-pandemic rise in business confidence

October 11, 2021
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Rising costs and labour shortages combine to end post-pandemic rise in business confidence

West of England businesses are warning that the economic recovery from the pandemic is at risk due to growing inflationary pressures and worker shortages. A third of the 250-plus firms taking part in the latest quarterly survey by regional business group Business West said they had to increase their prices due to rising input costs. ...

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Pioneering Tech for Growth programme extended to help more firms ramp up their digital activity

October 8, 2021
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Pioneering Tech for Growth programme extended to help more firms ramp up their digital activity

Small businesses in Bath and across the West of England are being offered help to improve their digital presence to enable them to grow. The Tech for Growth programme will match businesses with a consultant and support them with up to four days of hands-on assistance to develop and adopt technology.  The support is...

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Pearson May Financial Update: National Insurance and tax on dividends to rise to fund social care

October 7, 2021
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Pearson May Financial Update: National Insurance and tax on dividends to rise to fund social care

The Prime Minister announced last month that National Insurance contributions (NICs) and the three dividend tax rates will all increase by 1.25% from next April to pay for the social care system in England, writes Pearson May partner Jacqui Bowden. From April 6, the basic rate of dividend tax increases to 8.75% (up from...

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B Corp certification for Business West in recognition of its stance to ‘pursue purpose as well as profit’

October 6, 2021
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B Corp certification for Business West in recognition of its stance to ‘pursue purpose as well as profit’

Business West, the region’s largest business group, has been certified as a B Corporation, joining an elite, forward-looking global community that balances profit with people and the planet. The B Corp movement encourages organisations to take an ethical approach to business to make a positive difference in the world.  To gain its certification, businesses...

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Apprenticeship fund hits £1m mark as large organisations pledge to help small firms develop new talent

October 5, 2021
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Apprenticeship fund hits £1m mark as large organisations pledge to help small firms develop new talent

More than £1m has been pledged by businesses and organisations across the West of England from their unused apprenticeship levy funds to help people in the region develop new skills. The funds have gone to the Share to Support scheme, which was launched earlier this year to create vital apprenticeships for individuals and boost...

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Government lack of planning over worker crisis threatening future of firms, warn business leaders

October 1, 2021
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Government lack of planning over worker crisis threatening future of firms, warn business leaders

The South West’s key sectors could suffer irreparable damage unless the government starts to tackle the shortage of workers by easing EU visa restrictions, the region’s business leaders today warned. But even providing temporary visas for jobs such as drivers and food workers would only be a short-term measure and ministers must also come...

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Deadline looming for Mendip-based firms to apply for Covid recovery grants

October 1, 2021
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Deadline looming for Mendip-based firms to apply for Covid recovery grants

Small firms based in the Mendip area that have been hit by the pandemic or Brexit are being urged to apply for revitalisation grants of up to £20,000 before the deadline in less than two weeks. The grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 are available to businesses in the area covered by Mendip District...

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Bath firms to be given help in getting more disabled people into their workforce

September 30, 2021
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Bath firms to be given help in getting more disabled people into their workforce

A programme designed to break down barriers and support more disabled people into work is being launched in Bath and across the West of England. Some 100 businesses will receive tailored, targeted disability inclusion training to help them create a more diverse workforce.   The project, part of the Workforce for the Future programme, is...

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End damaging demolish-and-replace culture by axing VAT on refurbs, say Bath Uni academics

September 29, 2021
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End damaging demolish-and-replace culture by axing VAT on refurbs, say Bath Uni academics

Engineering experts at the University of Bath have called on the government to remove VAT from the cost of refurbishing building to help the construction industry meet net-zero sustainability targets. Such a move would level the playing field between refurbs and new-build construction projects, they argue, by providing developers with an incentive not to...

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