Category: Business

SME businesses encouraged to take advantage of final stages of grant scheme

Businesses across the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) region are being encouraged to take advantage of the final stages of a grant programme run by Cranfield University, in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Under the IMAGE (Innovation in Manufacturing, Aerospace and Green Economy) programme, businesses in the region can apply for a grant of up to £8,750 to receive part-funding for a research and development project to be carried out with universities.

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Marston Vale Gallery the area’s new art gallery

Marston Vale Gallery

If you thought art galleries were only built from bricks and mortar, think again. Online art galleries are becoming increasingly popular, and in June, Marston Vale Gallery became the latest to offer its unique art to cyberspace art lovers.

Marston Vale Gallery was set up to expose more people to original art and to get ‘real’ art into people’s homes and workplaces.

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New bursary will open up management education to the third sector

A new bursary will open doors for employees working within charities and not-for-profit organisations to allow them to gain a world-class management education qualification.

Cranfield University and leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP have launched a Third Sector Bursary, aimed at enabling workers to more easily access Cranfield’s Executive MBA course.

From January, up to five £9,000 bursaries per cohort will be allocated to eligible applicants.

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Barclays and Cranfield University help entrepreneurs take flight with new aviation technology hub

Barclays will launch an ‘AvTech’ Eagle Lab at Cranfield University, a co-working space for ambitious entrepreneurs to scale and grow, drawing on the University’s aerospace heritage stretching over 70 years.

The Lab, located at the heart of the University campus, will feature facilities to support rapid prototyping, product development and specialised AvTech equipment.

The announcement marks the first step in the University’s broader initiative to support start-ups and SMEs in the aviation industry, and follows from the Barclays launch earlier this year of a new £370m investment fund for small businesses in the Midlands.

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Communities Secretary: “building better and beautiful will deliver more homes”

James Brokenshire: “building better and beautiful will deliver more homes” – New commission announced to champion beauty in the built environment

The Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, has launched a commission to champion beautiful buildings as an integral part of the drive to build the homes communities need.

The ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ Commission will investigate measures to help ensure new developments meet the needs and expectations of communities. This is to make them more likely to be welcomed rather than resisted.

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New planning rules “to boost build out rate for large sites”

New planning rules “to boost build out rate for large sites”

Sir Oliver Letwin’s report said new rules would require developers to build a wider range of properties with different designs and tenures, to speed up build out rates.

In his interim report, he said he could not find “any evidence” that major developers are “holding land as a purely speculative activity” – and their business models instead rely on selling houses.

Instead, having too many identical properties on large sites – and the limits on how quickly these can be sold – is the fundamental reason behind the slow build out rate.

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Bedford Borough Council’s carbon emissions reduced by over half

Bedford Borough Council carbon emissions reduced by over half

In 2011 Bedford Borough Council set a target of reducing carbon by 40% but the Council has gone even further and hit a 53% reduction in carbon emissions since 2009/10.

Works across the Council’s buildings have included lighting upgrades, installation of solar panels, and Borough Hall has been converted from oil fired boilers to a biomass boiler.

Further projects delivered by the Council have seen improved lighting installed at a number of the car parks including Lurke Street, Queen Street and River Street which have already seen huge savings; with a 50% saving in just one year at Queen Street.

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