Southend Business Partnership Newsletter – Southend Borough Council

Southend Business Partnership Newsletter – Southend Borough Council

Whilst challenges remain, there has been some good news with the Government announcing their “roadmap out of lockdown” with business hopefully returning to some sort of normality by the end of June.  There was also a massive boost for South Essex economy with the announcement that Thames Estuary Freeport bid had been approved and is set to create some 25,000 jobs across South Essex!

Southend Business Partnership (SBP) Briefing – Digital portals, enabling our economic post Covid recovery

The next SBP briefing will take place on 25 March 2021 via MS Teams. Register your place at Eventbrite. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Smart Southend – using local information to enhance your business
  • Southend Place Marketing – the launch of the new Southend place marketing
  • – online courses to increase digital knowledge and skills in your organisation
  • BEST Growth Hub – Online portals and resources to aid recovery and growth


SBP Diversity Survey

We would like to work with the business community to ensure the diversity of the Partnership through reviewing our practices and canvassing the views of Southend businesses. With this in mind, we have launched the SBP diversity survey, to understand the composition of our membership as well as identifying potential ways to improve our engagement.  Please help us by completing this brief questionnaires at Your Say Southend, by 31 March 2021.


Shop Local – Totally Locally Southend-on-Sea

With the support of Totally Locally – an award-winning not-for-profit organisation – a ‘virtual high street’ for the borough of Southend-on-Sea is in the process of being creating. If your business is independent and based in Southend, please go and registered with Totally Locally Southend and start uploading your products. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council have hosted a Town Hall event recently to explain how the site works and where to get support if you need. A copy of the recording can be viewed at YouTube. The site is set to be launched in Spring. The service is completely free for the first year, thanks to support from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.


Essex Opportunities

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Essex County Council have partnered to commission Essex Opportunities, a website aimed at adults and young people to promote careers, employers, industry sectors, education, skills, training opportunities, apprenticeships and jobs. The website is set to launch at the beginning of March and they are keen to showcase businesses that operate in the local area. One of the main areas they are keen to get support on is the employer spotlight section, where local businesses will be showcased.  If you would like to be featured on the website, please contact


Business Rates Grants Update

For updates on the business rates grants please visit Southend on Sea Borough Council’s business grants page. Information is updated following government announcements. You can also read the full business support grant guidance and deadline information, and access to relevant application form(s) there.


What next for the Creative Industries in South Essex?

ASELA (the Association of South Essex Local Authorities) has committed to a programme of work to support and grow the Creative Industries across South Essex. As one of their first actions, they have commissioned a Working Group of 12 artists, designers, makers and arts organisations, to find out from our peers these four things:

  • What the creative sector needs – to create the optimum environment across South Essex to thrive and grow.
  • Where current opportunities exist – centres of expertise, energy, ideas, market opportunities, supply chains, venues and spaces, potential growth.
  • What is needed to fast-track these opportunities – key recommendations for actions, focus and investment.
  • Skills needs and training opportunities – what is needed for the future creative workforce and new models and ideas for how the sector could help deliver.

If you are an individual artist, freelance creative, micro, small or larger creative business, or if you form part of the supply chain of services to the Creative Industries, your input is vital to ensure a representative view if put forward. Contribute to this work but completing the survey and/or attending an online event.


Support for new Digital and Creative businesses

University of Essex Enterprise Zone (UEZ) are a centre for nurturing and support new digital and creative businesses.  They are focused on increasing business success and job creation whilst also providing advice and practical support through webinars and 1:1 support.  Access to funding through an equity investment platform, Angels@Essex, is also available.


Census 2021

Households across Southend-on-Sea will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021. The census, run by the Office for National Statistics, is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales.

Understanding the needs of the nation helps central government and local authorities to plan and fund public services, such as healthcare, education and transport. Information from the census also helps businesses to understand their customers.

Census 2021 will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

Census day will be on Sunday 21 March, but households will soon receive letters with online codes explaining how they can take part.

For more information, visit


PAVE Southend – Sector specific employment support for over 25s

PAVE Southend, the new employment and skills programme from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for over 25s, is up and running and have some excellent candidates who will be equipped with the necessary skills to move them into employment or training in one of the following sectors:

  1. Logistics & Manufacturing
  2. Business Admin & IT
  3. Customer Service, Supermarket Retail and Cleaning

If your business is in one of those sectors and you are able to assist with the delivery of any of the following sessions, please contact the team Future dates are also available

  • Overview of Careers in the sector – Monday, 8th March (1000 – 1130)
  • Industry Speakers – Thursday, 11th March (1000 – 1130)
  • Industry Specific Top Tips for Interviews – Friday, 12th March (1300-1430)
  • A pre-recorded virtual tour of your premises
  • Live Vacancies


Southend High Street Job Centre branch

As part of the Governments response to the economic impact of the Pandemic, the Department for Work and Pensions will be opening a new public facing office in Southend High Street at the end of April. The new appointment only facility will offer the full range of Jobcentre Work Coach services, with a particular focus on younger people claiming Universal Credit and eligible for the Kickstart scheme. Please contact Jackie Phillips, Southend Customer Service Leader, to discuss partnership working opportunities and services available to employers.

I do hope the above information has proved helpful and feel free to feedback to me on any matters on which you would welcome further coverage.

Murray Foster
Chairman of the Southend Business Partnership



Events/Workshops – Please check with the organizers of these events before attending as many may be cancelled.

  • SEBB project is running free 12 hour support programme throughout March 2021. Check out details and book at SEBB website.
  • Southend Business Partnership Briefing, 25 March 2021. Free ticket at eventbrite.
  • Estuary Festival 2021 22 May – 13 June 2021:
  • Double Whammy Networking Events – Every 4th Thursday of every month at 11am on Zoom – For further information please visit the ticketing website.
  • EBN Business Networking Southend – Held every other Tuesday virtually. Free ticket via Eventbrite
  • Women in Business Network (WIBN) Southend – on every second Tuesday of each month, 12-2pm on Zoom.  Tickets can be found at eventbrite.
  • For information about business support, networking events, funding opportunities, workshops and much more please visit the Growth Hub Website 
  • Eventbrite lists many other online events that be of interest to you.
  • The BEST website lists many other webinars.


Funding Opportunities

  • i-Construct project is open for business from Jan 2020 till Dec 2022, offering business support and 30% match funded grants to South East LEP construction businesses who looks to adopt innovations. Visit i-Construction website for more details. March events include Digital foundations – First steps to business digitisation for SMEs in the built environment sector on the 18 March 2021 and Networking – Alternative dispute resolution options for construction disputes on the 23 March 2021
  • The Manufacturing Growth Programme is tailored for SME manufacturers.Manufacturers can utilise the leading diagnostic tool specifically designed to help benchmark your business against internal aspiration, goals and challenges. A 33% grant is available for eligible Essex SMEs who are in the position to or are planning to carry out an improvement project. If you would like more information in relation to this grant, please email
  • For up to date COVID grants information for Southend please visit Southend on Sea Borough Council’s website.
  • National Lottery Project Grants are open for applications to support independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers. Open access programme at Arts Council England.
  • South East Cultural, Creative and Digital Sector (SECCADS, also known as South East Creatives) project provides sector specific business support, mentoring and match funded grants. For more information please visit the SECCADS website or email them.
  • TALE project is offering a new fast turnaround grant that has been introduced to fund consultants & software in small and medium businesses that use logistics. Grants of £1,000 to £2,000 are now available with a simplified application form. For more information email the project team.
  • LoCASE project is open for business again to help business with grant funding to improve process efficiency, business resilience, waste reduction and the other things that make businesses more sustainable. Visit the LoCASE website for more details.
  • South East Business Boost (SEBB) II project is offering business support and match funded grants to South East LEP businesses who have plans to grow. Please email the team for more information.
  • Essex for Business invites all to register to Funding Alerts and News for the Business Sector. To register please visit here.


Other Information

  • Procurement opportunity from Creative Estuary: Affordable workspace provision for the Cultural & Creative Industries (CCI sector) in the Thames Estuary. Stage 1: Options appraisal – research analysis, and modelling; Stage 2: Feasibility, business planning, and property pipeline planning. The link to the portal is here and closing date for EOI is 26th March.
  • Southend Borough Council has been approved as the Gateway organisation for Kickstart Scheme. if you are interested in offering a paid work placement to young people please contact us for more information by emailing to
  • Southend on Sea Borough Council has dedicated a page on redundancy support.
  • The Essex Wellbeing Service support people in the community and at work with a range of health, wellbeing and day to day needs. For more info please visit
  • An online learning platform has been launched by the UK Education Secretary to boost skills, offering free online courses (offered by various organisations including Google) at The Skills Tool Kit 
  • The Essex Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Service website aims to bring together businesses to help fund apprenticeship training costs in full. This is a centralised portal that matches businesses on their criteria and removes the barriers businesses can face when trying to gift their surplus levy. The portal is managed by a dedicated team, who vet all applications and provide support and guidance to businesses. The new service will help us increase apprenticeship opportunities in Essex across a number of sectors.
  • FSF Over 25s Programme has been launched to enable over 25s back into work. The programme covers three pathways: 1) Logistics, manufacturing, construction and warehouse; 2) IT Digital & Business Admin; and 3) Customer Services, Supermarket Retail and domestic cleaning. If you can give an industry talk, provide an industry mentor, host a recorded virtual tour, provide “industry specific tips for interviews” to the candidates, or offer real job interviews for candidates, we’d like to hear from you! Please contact the SBC skills team.
  • RE:Generation 2031 Project is part of the Creative Estuary Programme to deliver the Thames Estuary Production Corridor. It will provide funded job placements and mentoring support to young people so that they have the opportunity to develop a career in the creative sector. If you have suitable employment opportunities and would like to be involved, please contact the project team.
  • The UK Government has announced funding boost to get more young people into work. Employers can now apply for a £1000 cash boost to help them take on new traineeships. The cash boost – which is available until 31 July 2021 – will help businesses with the cost of providing a high-quality work placement for a trainee. This includes providing facilities, uniforms or helping with travel costs. Businesses offering new traineeship opportunities will receive the £1,000 bonus for every trainee they take on with up to a maximum of 10 trainees. Employers can claim the cash incentive for all work placements that have been completed since 1 September.
Jamie Langstone