By Cllr Greg Peck
August is a quiet time at County Hall with many staff taking their annual leave. However, work continues, especially with the launch of several initiatives to build back the Norfolk economy as we, hopefully, come out of the pandemic.
Business school for 16-25-year-olds
The Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Norfolk, managed by Norfolk County Council’s Library and Information Service, is running a free online summer school for 16-25-year-olds to help them decide whether starting their own business might be right for them.
Participants are encouraged to attend all the summer school workshops but, if this is not possible, once registered they can confirm which workshops they are able to attend.
If they do not have a business idea they would like to pitch, they are still welcome to attend the final session and watch the pitches. For more details see the BIPC Norfolk Eventbrite page.
New funding initiative
Businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk are being encouraged to take advantage of a new capital grant opportunity of up to £30,000.
The DRIVE (Delivering Rural Investment for Vital Employment) programme wants to hear from small and medium-sized enterprises to grow the region’s rural economy.
Launched in February 2021, the £3m scheme supports local businesses to invest in new projects that benefit their growth and create new employment.
Two million rural homes are set to benefit from a £5 billion funding package to improve broadband in areas with slow speeds.
The Government’s Project Gigabit fund will see up to 1.85 million additional premises across 26 English counties get access to gigabit-speed internet of 1,000 megabits per second – enough to download a high definition (HD) movie in less than 30 seconds.
It brings the current total number of premises in scope for Government-funded coverage to 2.2 million.
Norfolk is one of the first counties listed by the Government to receive funding and will receive between £115 million and £195 million.
Sectors including the creative, agriculture and construction industries can now bid for a share of a £7 million fund to support the creation of new flexible apprenticeships, unlocking more opportunities for people to develop the skills they need to get good jobs.
The fund will establish a small number of agencies that will set up new flexi-job apprenticeships so an apprentice can work across a range of projects and with different employers to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to be occupationally competent.
Cllr Greg Peck, Norfolk County Council, Reepham Division
Tel: 07972 230282