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Cranfield’s Business Programme supports thousands of businesses during COVID-19

Cranfield School of Management’s Business Growth Response Programme has now supported its 2,000th participant since it began just after lockdown started at the end of March.

The programme supports small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in helping them recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the UK economy. SME’s account for 24% of UK private sector businesses, for 43% of UK employment and 45% of GDP.

New Wixams warehouse development by Wrenbridge and Buccleuch

Buccleuch Property and Wrenbridge have secured planning permission for Fuse, Wixams, an 80,000 sq ft warehouse development on 4.5-acre at Wixams in Bedford. The development will create five Grade A units ranging in size from 7,535 sq ft to 22,500 sq ft.

Marston Moretaine site manager wins NHBC Pride in the Job Quality award

A Site Manager for David Wilson Homes South Midlands has won a national award for quality from the National House Building Council (NHBC).

Dan Jackson, 25, who is based at Marston Fields, won a NHBC Pride in the Job Quality award, considered to be the “Oscars of the housebuilding industry”.

Dan has worked for David Wilson Homes for almost 10 years. He started as an apprentice carpenter and after working in this role for three years he received a promotion to Trainee Assistant Site Manager. He was appointed Site Manager at Marston Fields in May 2018.

Central England Co-op celebrates its ‘frontline fathers’ supporting their communities

Central England Co-op is marking Father’s Day this Sunday by celebrating some of the fathers who have been working on the frontline in its food stores and funeral homes during these uncertain times.

Among them is Luke Ficken, store Manager at the Food Store in Marston Moretaine. He has balanced leading his team during these challenging times with taking care of his three step-children at home – Ruby aged 13, Corey aged 10 and Roman aged five.

The 30-year-old said the children had coped well through the lockdown. He added that this has made it easier for him as he works around the clock alongside his colleagues to serve the local community.

Retailers launch five steps for considerate shopping

In preparation for the reopening of shops, beginning tomorrow (15 June 2020), the British Retail Consortium along with twenty-five retailers have come together to launch five simple steps to encourage considerate shopping.

The retailers are urging the public to play their part in creating a safe and enjoyable retail environment for other customers and retail staff.

Bedford Borough Council urges public to ‘Stay Safe’ as town centre shops reopen

Bedford Borough Council has issued a reminder to the public that coronavirus has not gone away, and everyone needs to continue to do their part in slowing the spread of the virus by only making journeys if necessary and by ensuring that social distancing is maintained.

From Monday 15 June, shops in town centres across the country will be opening up for business as Government guidelines start to further ease lockdown restrictions.

New Marston Moretaine nursery opens its doors to prospective families

A new nursery setting for Marston Moretaine is set to open its doors this month to local families and commuters looking for childcare in the Bedfordshire area.

The Marston Day Nursery is based at the Marston Business Park development at Lower Hazeldines. It will officially open for children this coming August, and is now taking bookings for nursery tours for prospective parents and carers, beginning 15 June.

The Ofsted registered Nursery is the latest addition to the independent CC Nurseries nursery group. This already provides Early Childhood Learning and Care for over 500 families across England and Scotland.

Lidlington business owner asked council to consider home-based businesses when allocating funding

At a special (remote) meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive (5 June 20200, Lidlington business owner, Miranda Smythe, asked the Executive to consider home-based businesses when allocating funds from the new Small Business Discretionary Grant scheme.

The new, Government-funded scheme, is aimed to help those small businesses, badly hit by the pandemic which were not covered by the Business Support Grant Scheme or other financial support.

Ms Smythe, who runs a learning and development consultancy, said that she recognised that the Council had to make some tough decisions with limited funding. But she asked them to factor in a group of businesses that she said had been “explicitly excluded” from all other forms of government support

University of Bedfordshire in partnership to research COVID-19 testing

Life Science Group Ltd (LSG) and the University of Bedfordshire have received £50,000 in funding from Innovate UK to complete a research project to improve COVID-19 testing.

This follows a national call from Innovate UK to develop innovative methodologies to help combat COVID-19.

LSG and the University are to develop a testing method for COVID-19 that inactivates the virus immediately after the swab sample is taken from patients.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: Going to work/Safer spaces

The government has published a list of frequently asked questions on working during the coronavirus outbreak. Such as “What are the ‘Covid-Secure’ safety guidelines workplaces have to put in place?” and “My employer is asking me to come to work but I’m scared”

The government says that employers should make every effort to support working from home. Including by providing suitable IT and equipment as they have been already. This will apply to many different types of businesses, particularly those who typically would have worked in offices or online.

Where work can only be done in the workplace, the government said that it has set out tailored guidelines for employers to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running.

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Business News and information

The latest business news and information from businesses in Cranfield and Marston Vale, Bedfordshire.