Malvern Hills DC Covid-19 Business Bulletin

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.


Follow the links to see the latest updates from Government, find financial support for your business and click here if you are self employed.


The Government has set up a business support helpline on 0300 456 3565. This is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.


Visit the Malvern Hills website to sign up for the latest updates on business support and our regular email newsletter.


Winter Economy Plan announced

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has recently unveiled his Winter Economy Plan. The thrust of the chancellor’s message is that the country needs to find a sustainable way to live with the virus.


That means targeting government support – rather than the blanket approach at the start of the pandemic. In summary: –


1.Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces a new Job Support Scheme, starting in November


2.It replaces the ‘furlough scheme’ and means the government will pay part of workers’ wages who have lost hours


3.The cut in VAT to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sector will be extended until 31 March


4.Firms that took government loans during the crisis will have longer to pay them back


5.Firms that deferred their VAT bill will no longer have to pay a lump sum in March


Full details are available here

Self Isolation Support Grant for low paid – and fines increased!

People are required by law to self-isolate from 28 September, will be supported by payment of £500 for those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result.


Anyone in this position should apply for the grant via the MHDC website here


New fines for those breaching self-isolation rules have also started at £1,000 – bringing this in line with the penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel – but could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and for the most egregious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.

Be The Business – Free Mentoring Advice

Be The BusinessBe the Business have a number of highly experienced mentors available NOW to support you responding to the impact of the current crisis.


The mentors come from a range of the UK’s leading businesses as well as recognised companies such as BAE Systems, Lloyds, GSK, KPMG and Siemens.


They can support across a range of issues including scenario planning, communications, finance, HR and staffing, supply chain and change management.


In a nutshell the 12-week Rapid Response Mentoring programme offers:

  • Tailored, one-to-one support from an experienced senior exec in a leading firm
  • Your own mentor matched with your specific needs and objectives – chosen by you
  • Once registered, 12 weekly sessions with each mentor, as often as you need – by phone or virtual tools

The programme is most suited to small businesses that have around 5 staff and a turnover of 500K or more.


Sound interesting? Find out more about the programme and register here

Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme

Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme Round 3 applicants can apply for funding towards specific items of equipment listed at Annex 3 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme handbook –


All these items have been identified following consultation with industry groups and suppliers as helping achieve improvements in either:

  • Technical efficiency
  • Animal health and welfare
  • Resource efficiency, or
  • Nutrient management


What’s happening?


To apply, applications are made via an online portal that can be accessed through GOV.UK which will be open for submissions from 7 October 2020 until noon on the 4 November 2020.

Worcestershire Proof of Concept

POCRun by Worcestershire County Council, the Proof of Concept Programme provides grants to allow SME’s to investigate, advance, commercialise and protect early stage innovative business ideas. So, how does it all work?


Whether you’re looking to bring an innovative new product to the B2B market or your business, the Proof of Concept programme is designed to take your company to the next level, with an experienced team on hand to offer support, expertise and guidance throughout the whole journey.


For businesses looking to develop new products, the Proof of Concept fund will provide grants of up to 40% of the total cost of a project (up to £30,000).


With an aim to drive investment within the county, the Proof of Concept Programme has to date helped around 170 B2B businesses within Worcestershire.


To find out more about the Proof of Concept Programme and eligibility, click here.

New walking and cycling bridge moved into place over Hams Way

A brand new walking and cycling bridge was lifted into place on the 12th September over a section of Worcester’s Southern Link Road.


The bridge, which replaces the current pedestrian crossing, now sits proudly over Hams Way and once complete, will allow improved crossing of this busy road for pedestrians and cyclists.


The bridge was built offsite and was carefully manoeuvred into place. The main contractor, Griffiths, filmed the move with a time-lapse camera and this is available to view here.


Plan have been developed by WCC for a cycle route from Malvern to Powick along the A449 which will eventually link into this new bridge .


A Pinchpoint government funding application has been submitted to help complete the funding package for the route.


For the full story, please read: New walking and cycling bridge moved into place over Hams Way

WINN Innovation Launchpad

Are you a future-thinking Worcestershire business passionate about innovating and creating? Do you understand how innovation can drive growth, productivity, and your competitive advantage?


Why not learn more from cutting-edge innovators and subject specialists about how these ideas can work in your business?


The WINN Innovation Launch Pad will be held over two half days, and brings likeminded entrepreneurs in to an exploratory space, where they can create, develop, and define new ideas. During these sessions businesses will;

  • Hear the latest thinking from top innovators
  • Receive 1:1 exploratory business coaching
  • Share the online space with like-minded entrepreneurs
  • Explore and develop their mind set, ideas and goals in online breakaway spaces
  • Select the specialist bespoke support required in phase 2
  • Receive an exciting Mission Pack delivered directly to your door packed with items you will need for your mission

The second phase of the launch pad is 6 hours of bespoke specialist professional support delivered at your premises or online by specialist advisors.


More details are available via this youtube video here


To register your business for the Innovation launchpad click here

BETADEN reaches landmark

BetaDen – the commercial technology accelerator based at Malvern Hills Science Park – is celebrating its second anniversary with the news that cohort founders have secured over £250,000 investment since its inception.


Unlike other accelerators, which mainly work with start ups to develop initial business ideas, BetaDen provides support to commercialise those ideas, helping cohort businesses map out their route to market and develop their networks to become ‘investment ready’.


22 technology-related businesses have either been through the BetaDen programme or are currently working with us, securing over a quarter of a million pounds’ investment in that time.


These start-up businesses have created six new full-time roles in the area, with half of our most-recent cohort also opting to take up the offer of a six-month license at the Science Park where they are continuing their business journey.”


Applications to join Cohort 4 at BetaDen will open in mid-November. For further information, visit

Graduate Apprenticeship Webinar

A live Degree Apprenticeship webinar was broadcast from the council house on Tuesday 6th October and this week will be available for all see as a here 23 people were logged in to the live webinar with many being school teachers streaming it to their classes.


Did you know that you don’t have to go to University to get a degree? This video sets out how you could earn while you learn with a degree apprenticeship, what it involves and what do you need to do to find an apprenticeship that works for you?


Featuring Malvern firms and people who currently have degree apprenticeships, DRisq and Payara and training organisation Warwickshire College Group, the hour-long webinar heard from a local employer, a training provider and a degree apprentice in Malvern, followed by a Q&A and links to all employers offering degree apprenticeships.


It was open to anyone thinking about their next steps (including parents of young people who haven’t decided what to do next).It is proposed to be the first in a series which will highlight local jobs to young and old alike, enabling people who are interested in learning or retraining to identify opportunities available.


Please let Christine Butler know of any subjects which you would find useful for future

Graduate Development Grants – Could your business benefit from new talent?

In such uncertain times, many businesses have delayed investing in new staff who could help drive their business forward.


In turn, this has left Worcestershire graduates facing considerable challenges in finding rewarding opportunities to kick start their careers.


The Here2Help Business programme, run by Worcestershire County Council, aims to support eligible SMEs to recruit a local Graduate into a professional role by providing a graduate grant.


The Graduate Development Grant offers businesses access to the skills they need, whilst also providing graduates with high quality career opportunities.


The grant provides up to 50% of a Graduate salary for a one-year period, to a maximum of £10,000, which is paid retrospectively on a quarterly basis. More details are available here

Kickstart – Grow your workforce, build your business and support young people.

You can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.


The placements should support participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme. Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.


There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.


For organisations with fewer than 30 posts they must apply through a “representative organisation” and our main representative organisation is Worcester County Council, now an approved Kickstart portal.


Referrals to them are made via Worcestershire Business Central or T  01905 677888


Here2Help Support

Monday 12th October 9.30 – 12.30


Re-evaluating and Evolving a Brand, Marketing and Communications in a Changing Market


Presented by – Heike O’Leary Group Marketing Direct Lookers PLC

An informative and insightful presentation by marketing professional Heike O’Leary followed by an interactive workshop exploring the challenges of marketing and rebranding following the impact of Covid-19.


Find out more and Book Here



Thursday 15th October 9.30 – 12.30


Adapting your Business Technology following Covid-19

Presented by – Borwell Ltd specialists in software & security


An interactive presentation & workshop exploring the key challenges around managing remote working, software, systems and security following the impact of Covid-19.


Find out more and Book Here



Tuesday 20th October 9.30 – 12.30


7 Secrets to Cash Flow Management

Presented by – Perrigo Consultants Ltd specialists in Finance & Accountancy


An interactive presentation & workshop exploring the key challenges around managing cashflow and business finances following the impact of Covid-19, delivered by the accounting and tax specialists at Perrigo Consulting Ltd.


Find out more and Book Here

Worcestershire LEP Conference Online for 2020

A new virtual business conference has been confirmed for October 2020 to bring businesses across the county together and demonstrate the progress and scope of key programmes being delivered in Worcestershire.


For the first time it will be spread out over 5 days allowing for a more comprehensive delivery of content on key business concerns, local growth projects and schemes helping to achieve the vision of a connected, creative, dynamic economy for all.


Taking place from the 12 to the 16 October, each day will focus on a theme with a daily format allowing for users to plan their day around the content they would like to see from wherever they may be.


Visit the Worcestershire LEP website here to find out more information on the topics, speakers and to register for the virtual conference once registrations open.


Tell us how your business has been affected

The ED team wants to fully understand the impact of the Coronavirus on specific businesses and the wider economy.


This will help us tailor our service to you and feedback to Government to help shape their ongoing response.


If you would like to talk one-to-one with a member of the ED team about your business experience and effects of Covid-19, please email us with your contact details