Advanced manufacturing

Job losses, cash-strapped firms and furloughed staff. Grim picture of pandemic’s toll on West of England

June 19, 2020
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Job losses, cash-strapped firms and furloughed staff. Grim picture of pandemic’s toll on West of England

Unemployment has soared by 145% in the West of England since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to figures published today, with just nearly 40,000 people claiming jobless benefits. At the same time, around 22% of the region’s workforce – 132,600 people – have been furloughed while job vacancies have fallen sharply, down...

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Jobs to be axed at Mulberry as luxury brand feels impact of coronavirus pandemic

June 12, 2020
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Jobs to be axed at Mulberry as luxury brand feels impact of coronavirus pandemic

Somerset-based upmarket fashion brand Mulberry is planning to shed hundreds of jobs as it struggles to overcome the massive cost of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business. The firm, best known for its luxury leather bags, employs 1,140 staff in the UK – around half of them at its head office and factory at...

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£1m fund launched to help firms innovate to meet challenges of the coronavirus crisis

June 12, 2020
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£1m fund launched to help firms innovate to meet challenges of the coronavirus crisis

Small and medium-sized Bath businesses investing in digital innovation to address challenges arising from Covid-19 can access grants of between £10,000 and £40,000 under a new scheme started by UWE Bristol. The university’s £1m Digital Innovation Fund is aimed at helping firms ranging from start-ups and micro businesses to more established organisations as they...

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UK quarantine rules hitting Bath’s exporters and tourism industry, says Business West

June 11, 2020
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UK quarantine rules hitting Bath’s exporters and tourism industry, says Business West

Business West, the region’s largest business organisation, has joined bodies representing business, education and employment in urging the government to rethink its controversial quarantine rules for travellers arriving in the UK. In an open letter to the home, foreign and transport secretaries, Business West, UK Hospitality, Universities UK and others argue that it was...

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Programme launched to support employees’ mental health during Covid-19 crisis

June 9, 2020
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Programme launched to support employees’ mental health during Covid-19 crisis

A new support programme has been set up to help Bath firms whose employees’ mental health and wellbeing have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is investing £100,000 to develop Thrive West, which aims to address some of the key mental health issues businesses say their employees...

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Help for small firms to bounce back from the impact of coronavius by boosting their online presence

June 5, 2020
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Help for small firms to bounce back from the impact of coronavius by boosting their online presence

A new programme to help Bath’s small businesses improve their digital presence has been launched by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) as it expands its Growth Hub to help firms bounce back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Trading Better Online programme has been developed in partnership with regional tech...

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Deadline looming for grants of up to £5,000 for some firms hit by impact of Covid-19

June 5, 2020
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Deadline looming for grants of up to £5,000 for some firms hit by impact of Covid-19

Bath firms based in shared offices or flexible workspaces, as well as B&Bs and guest houses, have only a few days left to apply for a grant up to £5,000 from a special business support grant. The Small Business Grants Discretionary Fund was established to support small businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak but...

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University of Bath harnesses its engineering expertise to boost city’s PPE stocks in fight against Covid-19

June 5, 2020
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University of Bath harnesses its engineering expertise to boost city’s PPE stocks in fight against Covid-19

Healthcare workers battling Covid-19 have received more than 80,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) made by University of Bath staff. More than 77,000 face shields have been made by a team from across the university working from a safe lab on campus for local hospitals and healthcare services since the coronavirus pandemic started...

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R3 South West issues essential guide to help region’s firms manage impact of Covid-19 crisis

June 4, 2020
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R3 South West issues essential guide to help region’s firms manage impact of Covid-19 crisis

An eight-point checklist to help owner-managers deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their businesses has been launched by the South West arm of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3. The organisation’s members, who include insolvency practitioners, lawyers, and turnaround and restructuring experts, work with business owners to mitigate and resolve financial...

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South West firms now UK’s least confident as Covid-19 hits region hard

May 29, 2020
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South West firms now UK’s least confident as Covid-19 hits region hard

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a severe blow to confidence levels among South West firms – with the region now the UK’s least optimistic, according to the gloomy results of another survey. Overall confidence slumped by 16 points during the past month to minus 51% – an unenviable record for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s...

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