+44 (0) 1354 622506 business@fenland.gov.uk

Support for Businesses
Specialist support

Agriculture

  • Agri-Tech East Agri-Tech East is an independent, business-focussed cluster organisation, to improve the international competitiveness and sustainability of plant-based agriculture and horticulture. It is bringing together farmers and growers with scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs to create a global innovation hub in agri-tech.  Any company in the agricultural, food production or related industries may be eligible for a grant from the Agri-tech scheme to develop new ideas or improve the way something works in their business. For further information on how Agri-Tech East can help your business visit www.agritech-east.co.uk
  • Fens LEADER The LEADER programme is a well-established Rural Development Programme that provides funding to local businesses, farmers, land managers and communities in the Cambridgeshire Fens to create jobs and growth. To find out more about the programme visit: https://cambsfensleader.wordpress.com/

Business Networks

  • Fenland Chamber of Commerce is the voice of local business, dedicated to supporting the continued success of local businesses through networking opportunities and valuable expert advice. The Chamber runs regular informal networking evenings in the area, as well as workshops and conferences on various subjects to help businesses develop their skills and competitiveness. For further information on how Fenland Chamber of Commerce can help your business visit www.cambridgeshirechamber.co.uk
  • Federation of Small Businesses - The Federation of Small Businesses offers members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in government. Formed in 1974, the FSB offers a range of benefits and support for its 200,000 members across 33 regions and 188 branches. www.fsb.org.uk/bedscambsherts
  • The Manufacturing Association is helping companies in this established sector foster an environment of collaboration to overcome barriers to growth by sharing best practice, the latest developments in technology and showcasing the latest business news from the Fenland area.
  • Fenland for Business also leads on two networking groups within the area. Link4Business is giving local organisations the chance to make new connections whilst developing existing ones, so the whole area can benefit from a more integrated approach and doing business together. Our quarterly Round Table events also give up to 10 business leaders the chance to talk to Council Cabinet members about the issues affecting their business and to discuss ways of overcoming these and broader topics that have an implication on working in Fenland.
  • If you run a social enterprise, are looking to set one up, or you want to support the sector, SEEE can help. They offer support and specialist resources for their members across the East. For further information on how Social Enterprise East of England can help your business visit www.seee.co.uk
  • MentorsMe is an online mentoring service for businesses. You can search a list of accredited business mentors online according to your individual requirements. For further information on how MentorsMe can help your business visit www.mentorsme.co.uk
  • ACAS provides information, advice, training, conciliation and other services for employers and employees to help prevent or resolve workplace problems. There's advice and details of training courses on their website to help you ensure you have happy, healthy and productive employees. For further information on how ACAS can help your business visit www.acas.org.uk

Business rates and taxes

  • Business Rates and Benefits - your business plan will need to allow for business rates, tax and other charges payable to employees and the government. You can check local business rates with Fenland District Council and national tax rates and payment dates with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) calling 0845 302 1453 or visiting: www.hmrc.gov.uk
  • Non-domestic Rates - Non-domestic, or business, rates are the way in which businesses and other occupiers of non-domestic property contribute toward the cost of local authority services. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for assessing all business and non-domestic property in England and Wales, giving each one a rateable value. If you have reason to believe your rateable value is wrong, you need to let the VOA know as quickly as possible. Contact your local office and talk to someone on the business rates team. Valuation Office Agency, Eastbrook, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 2DU 01223 431 300 www.voa.gov.uk
  • Fenland District Council Business Rates Team - collect business rates on behalf of the Government. Please contact them if you have any queries about how much you should pay, different ways to pay or if you're having difficulties in paying. Check out our website or get in touch for further details. http://www.fenland.gov.uk/counciltaxandbusinessrates

Finance and grant funding

  • Fenland for Business has excellent links with financial organisations and funding bodies and can provide you with impartial advice about which funding opportunities or programmes are the most appropriate to help your business grow. Information regarding just a few of these organisations can be found below but please do contact us for further information and a tailored service.
  • GCGP LEP - The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) Local Enterprise Partnership is a business-led organisation which oversees funding for a range of infrastructure and skills projects in the area. Working with the government and other partner agencies they drive economic development across Cambridgeshire: www.gcgp.co.uk
  • Start-Up Loans Company - The Start-Up Loans Company is a government backed scheme set up in 2012 to help new and early stage UK businesses access affordable finance and mentoring support:  https://www.startuploans.co.uk
  • Business Growth Fund - BGF was established in 2011 to help Britain's growing smaller and medium sized businesses. Their mission is to unlock the potential of fast-growing UK businesses that need long-term capital to drive their future success and work collaboratively with the organisations they invest in: http://www.businessgrowthfund.co.uk/
  • Foundation East - Foundation East specialises in supporting businesses who have struggled to get a loan due to a limited trading history, insufficient credit record or a lack of assets to secure against finance. You can get an instant quote on their website. For further information visit: www.foundationeast.org
  • Frederick's Foundation - The Frederick's Foundation is a charity that helps people wanting to set up or expand their business but are unable to access finance from conventional sources. They provide microloan funding alongside support and advice to help your business ambitions become a reality: www.fredericksfoundation.org/cambridgeshire
  • Fens LEADER The LEADER programme is a well-established Rural Development Programme that provides funding to local businesses, farmers, land managers and communities in the Cambridgeshire Fens to create jobs and growth, mainly via small grants. To find out more about the programme visit: https://cambsfensleader.wordpress.com/

Food safety

  • Fenland District Council Food and Safety Team runs a range of training courses to help businesses to understand and comply with the law To find out more or for information, advice and guidance regarding food safety regulations please talk to Fenland District Council or visit: http://www.fenland.gov.uk/foodinspections

International trade

  • The Government's Department for International Trade can support you to begin selling your goods and services to overseas markets. Visit their website for information on trading internationally and for tender opportunities that may be of interest, either now or in the future: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-trade
  • If you wish to tender to export overseas with the government, you can find these advertised on the Exporting is GREAT website which also provides advice on exporting. To find more overseas partners, search the Enterprise Europe Network portal here.
  • Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce can assist you to navigate through the potentially complex world of export documentation - more details are available here: http://www.cambridgeshirechamber.co.uk/index.php?pageid=35
  • The Institute of Export is the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade. Offering a unique range of individual and business membership benefits and a world renowned suite of qualifications and training, the Institute is the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally.

Manufacturing

  • The Institute for Manufacturing offers bespoke support and resources to small and medium manufacturing companies. Their comprehensive programme of support identifies the real priority areas for your business, where improvement will make a significant difference, while using the minimum of resources. Their programme has generated millions of pounds of increased profits for local companies. For further information on how the Institute for Manufacturing can help your business visit www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/services/overview/sme
  • The Manufacturing Association is helping companies in this established sector foster an environment of collaboration to overcome barriers to growth by sharing best practice, the latest developments in technology and showcasing the latest business news from the Fenland area. 

To register your interest in joining the Manufacturing Association, contact Fenland for Business:

Email: business@fenland.gov.uk
Call: 01354 622506

Recruitment, skills and staff development

  • The Skills Service has a dedicated expert working in the Fenland area to provide a brokerage service between businesses and education providers. The teams helps with local employers' skills issues to make sure you have access to a work-ready talent pool. By working together with the support of The Skills Service, businesses and education providers are inspiring local young people to help teach them about the world of work and their future career opportunities. Click here to watch a video about the work of The Skills Service. For further information about how The Skills Service can help your business, visit www.theskillsservice.co.uk
  • Jobcentre Plus provides employability support to people out of work and assists many local businesses with their recruitment needs. They can post details of all local vacancies on the DWP's national Universal Jobmatch website.
  • College of West Anglia is one of the largest higher education providers in the area, offering a whole range of courses to suit all types of sectors and skills levels. The college has links with hundreds of employers in the area and brings their knowledge to the network to help build skills among the local workforce needed for companies to grow and develop. www.cwa.ac.uk
  • Peterborough Regional College has a wide range of courses on offer and provides skills training for many businesses in the area. They're currently in the process of constructing a state-of-the-art centre to provide food and drink production and engineering training within an industrial setting, and are also home to University Centre Peterborough on their city campus. www.peterborough.ac.uk
  • Prince's Trust - The Prince's Trust specialises in supporting young people to start their own businesses, with mentoring, resources and lots of support. They provide low-interest loans for start-ups, although some people may be eligible for grant funding. www.princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/support-starting-business/business-finance
  • Apprenticeship Service - If the post you're recruiting for is suitable for an apprentice, the National Apprenticeship Service can help you find the right candidate for the role. To find out more visit: https://www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships

The benefits of apprenticeships and traineeships make them an attractive venture for many businesses. Click here for an Employer's Guide to Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

BEIS - The government's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has a range of online tools for businesses and useful information on subjects such as wages, employee leave and funding opportunities. For further information on how BEIS can help your business visit www.bis.gov.uk

Resource efficiency

  • WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) helps individuals, businesses and local authorities to reduce waste and recycle more, making better use of resources and helping to tackle climate change. www.wrap.org.uk
  • Fenland Green Business Club - The Green Business Club is a free service for any local business looking for practical ways to save money whilst improving environmental performance. To find out more visit:  http://www.fenland.gov.uk/article/1876/Green-Business-Club-Main-Page
  • Waterwise - An independent, not-for-profit organisation that works to improve the efficient use of water. As well as promoting methods of improving the efficient use of water, Waterwise works with partners to develop innovative water-saving technologies. www.waterwise.org.uk
  • The Carbon Trust works with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies. They can offer advice and information, as well as helping you to measure your carbon footprint and work to reduce it. For more details, visit www.carbontrust.co.uk

Start-ups

  • The Government's business support helpline offers help on starting and running a business. You can contact them Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on 0300 456 3565. For more details about business and self-employment, visit their website: https://www.gov.uk/browse/business. For further information on how the Business Support Helpline can help your business visit www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline
  • The Federation of Small Businesses is a campaigning pressure group, promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. Formed in 1974, the FSB offers a range of benefits and support for its 200,000 members across 33 regions and 188 branches. For further information about how the Federation of Small Business can help your business visit www.fsb.org.uk/bedscambsherts
  • Get Set for Growth - Get Set for Growth is tailored specifically for growing businesses. Funded by the Regional Growth Fund, JP Morgan and the European Regional Development Fund, Get Set for Growth offers support in specific areas of expertise to help business owners grow their company and develop the skills needed to manage their organisation. http://www.getsetforgrowth.com/support/approach/
  • If you run a social enterprise, are looking to set one up, or you want to support the sector, SEEE can help. They offer support and specialist resources for their members across the East. For further information on how Social Enterprise East of England can help your business visit www.seee.co.uk

Fenland For Business free networking event - September 29 2017

Friday 29 September 2017, 10:00
The Boathouse, 1 Harbour Square, Wisbech, PE13 3BH

A free of charge, informal and relaxed drop-in session organised by Link4Coffee in partnership with Fenland District Council. These events run every 4 weeks to give local organisations a chance to connect with each other and the local commu...

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Growing Your Business in Fenland - free networking event in Chatteris

Tuesday 05 September 2017, 10:30
South Fens Business Centre, Fenton Way, Chatteris, PE16 6TT

This is a free, informative networking event for Fenland businesses and the third event in a new series taking place in Chatteris organised by Fenland for Business and Fenland District Council. The focus for this session will be growing you...

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Fenland For Business free networking event - September 2017

Friday 01 September 2017, 10:00
The Boathouse, 1 Harbour Square, Wisbech, PE13 3BH

A free of charge, informal and relaxed drop-in session organised by Link4Coffee in partnership with Fenland District Council. Run every 4 weeks, these events provide a regular opportunity to connect with your local community and the diverse...

Find out more