Business news, advice and support
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Business Newsletter. Your latest update for the district.
In this issue...
  • Latest updates
  • Serco and HMP Fosse Way
  • Sustainable Business
  • Business feature
  • Free resources and training
  • Have your say
  • Your business hub

📰 Latest updates

Business Breakfast. Wednesday 9 November. 8am. Leicester Marriot Hotel. Complimentary breakfast, networking and a chance to hear about the latest business trends and funding opportunities.

 Business Breakfast fast approaching! 

Our next Business Breakfast will be held on Wednesday 9th November 2022, 8am - 10am, at the prestigious Marriot Hotel.

"Training and Workforce" is the theme, and you will have the opportunity to learn how to upskill your current workforce and attract the workforce of the future.  

It’s also an opportunity to network with other influential local business-owners whilst enjoying a complimentary breakfast roll along with tea, coffee, and pastries.

If you are interested in attending, please visit our website using the button below.

Book onto the Business Breakfast
International Trade Week 2022
International Trade Week runs this year from Monday 31 October to Friday 4 November!

This is an initiative from the Department for International Trade as as part of International Trade Week, they will be showcasing a brand-new series of events designed to help businesses of all shapes and sizes maximise their global potential.

In particular, these events will help businesses understand how to capitalise on opportunities secured by the government's new trade deals.

Visit the dedicated website to find out more.
Explore more about International Trade Week
Jobs Fair delivers great opportunities!

Monday 10 October saw the third Jobs Fair this year organised by Blaby District but the first one to take place at the council offices. Previous ones have been hosted by Everards of Leicestershire at the wonderful Everards Meadows, a popular place to visit within Blaby District.

We saw over 170 job seekers coming through the doors to talk with stall holders and find out about the hundreds of employment opportunities available across many sectors and for those needing extra help with that first step in applying for a job or training and development there were many organisations that could help with that support too.

We were joined by Serco who we are working in partnership with to help with recruitment for HMP Fosse Way, as well as the many other opportunities they will bring to the district and wider.

When is our next Job Fair?

Our next Job Fair is planned for Wednesday 15 March 2023 from 3pm to 6pm at the Blaby District offices.

Access to further employment opportunities

To ensure that Blaby's residents are able to access the wealth of opportunities provided by key partners and organisations within Blaby and beyond, we have created a self-service area on our website where you will find useful information on current employment opportunities, as well as new skills, training and development resources. For more information visit our website using the button below.

Employment, skills and training opportunities

Need help to recruit?

If you are a business and would like to know more about how the Council can help you with recruitment, please email us.

Work & Skills Forum
The first meeting of the Blaby District Work & Skills Forum took place on the 5th October 2022.  It was very well attended with representatives from local businesses and support organisations from within Leicestershire.

Working in partnership the forum works together to collaborate on initiatives such as:
  • understanding the employment and skills needs of Blaby District employers
  • collaborating and sharing information from all partners involved
  • supporting residents looking for employment opportunities and help with barriers to employment
  • increasing employer participation to develop more work placements for young people and the long term unemployed
  • championing apprenticeships and T Levels
  • assisting with work experience and placement opportunities
If you would like further information and are a local SME business that would like to take part in the next Forum planned for the 30th November 2022 then please get in contact with us by emailing:

HMP Fosse Way operated by Serco

A prison delivering hope in an environment that supports prisoners to change their future 

Serco is immensely proud to have been trusted with the operation and maintenance of HMP Fosse Way.  It is a new concept prison focused on resettlement and rehabilitation, working hand in hand with the local community to provide opportunities for men upon their release. 

Education is a central part of the prisoner’s journey from reception through to release and resettlement. It is a key enabler for employment and the development of life skills and allows prisoners to maintain high levels of hope. 

We have a strategic education partner in Milton Keynes College who, in addition to providing core educational requirements, will be involved with us in providing targeted vocational training in industry workshops and classrooms to provide prisoners with the qualifications they will need for employment in identified sectors of the economy on release. 

Beyond the practical preparations for release, there may be a need to identify and prepare prisoners emotionally. We will be providing on-site support from our team of psychologists and our specialist partners, many of whom have ‘lived experiences’ and can bring niche expertise and contacts formed through these experiences.

Our interventions will target positive resettlement outcomes and support prisoners to change their behaviour while in custody, contributing to a safe and rehabilitative prison environment.
 First appointments made for new prison! 

Serco is pleased to announce that Wyn Jones has been selected to be the new Prison Director (Governor) for HMP Fosse Way.  “This is a once in a generation opportunity to be running a new concept of prison and I am extremely excited at the prospect of this brand-new challenge” Wyn told us.
Wyn joined Serco in January 2006 after a 23-year career with the National Offender Management Service (HMPS) where he experienced every rank up to and including Senior Management C grade. 
Testing himself in a commercial environment, Wyn began his career with Serco first as Prison Director for HMP Dovegate for over five years.

His role for the last decade has been accountable for all Serco UK Custodial contracts which manages approximately 6,000 offenders and 2,000 colleagues. He has also had experience internationally with a secondment to Australia with Serco in 2011.   

“I have been in and around prisons for almost 40 years and get as much pleasure from my work today as I did when I began my career at Strangeways prison in 1983. I joined hoping to make a difference and continue to be motivated by that thought, to help improve offender welfare and engagement in prison, supporting those who have offended in rebuilding their lives.”

Wyn joins the first official colleague to have been employed for the prison, Kara Hemsley, who will be Wyn’s Personal Assistant.
Kara (left) hails from Hinckley, Leicester and was previously in another Serco contract which was set up to deliver Test and Trace during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also announced is Wyn’s Deputy Director, Katie Walters-Jones (right).

Katie is Chepstow-born and started her career in the Probation Service, before joining Serco in January 2010. She gained experience first at HMP Ashfield, then in a pan-custodial role across Safety in our 6 UK prisons, and then a spell as Deputy Director at HMP Doncaster.
 100's of Permanent job opportunities at HMP Fosse Way 

Serco are actively recruiting for all roles in the new prison, and new recruits will be fully supported by experienced colleagues to ensure that they feel enabled to undertake their roles comfortably and become part of the Serco ‘family’ as quickly as possible.  

They would like to hear from anyone with a desire to work with an engaged team of dedicated people. Please check the Serco website for roles that are available or register your interest using the link below.
Jobs at HMP Fosse Way

🌍 Sustainable Business

Help fight climate change. Save money. Stay healthy. Find tips and tricks at
 Green Forum 

Our Green Forum returns where you can learn the latest tips and tricks on how to make your business more sustainable and move towards a green future!

The event will take place on Wednesday 2 November 2022, from 11am to 12pm, and will be hosted virtually on MS Teams. Joining us are guest speakers: Tim Saunders (Business Development Officer at Nottingham University) and Alan Hayes, Interim Head of Responsible Business at Samworth Brothers.

Sign up by emailing us, click the button below!
Book onto the Green Forum
 Great Big Green Week - Our Big Tree Giveaway! 

On 28th September Blaby District Council attended Fosse Shopping Park and gave away 2,100 trees to members of the public in our Big Tree Giveaway as part of Big Green Week. 

We received donations from Aggregate Industries and Edmonds and Slatter Opticians towards the purchase of the trees. Over 50% of the Hazel, Silver Birch, Crab Apple trees and Dog Rose shrubs we had on offer were taken by residents living within the Blaby District.
Our Climate Change page
 Energy for Business Grants 

The University of Nottingham's Energy Innovation and Collaboration team can deliver funded support to businesses in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, or Nottinghamshire.

Click the button below to find out more.
Find out more

📍 Business feature - your story

This month we spoke to Mark Robinson, Managing Director of Creative62, a multi-award-winning creative brand agency based in Enderby. This November, the company celebrates its 15th year in business. In this article Mark shares the background of the business.
Let's hear from the man behind it all...

"My business partner lives in Whetstone, and I live in Cosby. Enderby was the perfect place to set up our studio; since then, our team has come from the surrounding villages. If we need to travel to a client or supplier, we have major roads nearby for easy access. 
We are a creative brand agency working with and inspiring businesses to expect more from their marketing activity.
Our approach is structured to assist busy marketing decision-makers who want to implement a holistic marketing process. We aid them in increasing brand awareness, communicating with prospects and customers, lifting confidence and ultimately achieving agreed project goals.
People and Passion over Profits, these three P's are critical to a business's success but have to balance. People are the essential ingredient in any business. True passion is a rare commodity in business, as I'm not sure everyone feels that way about what they do. Without profit, things get messy fast. Finding a balance is part of the journey you are on. Aim to achieve happiness first and then progress from there. But keep an eye on profit as that influences the company's happiness and your ability to give back and create the perfect business/ social environment.
I think natural peer support is one of the most overlooked aspects of a business. So much can come from a conversation, insights and thoughts that you can consider before acting. Surround yourself with those you trust and develop supportive relationships. The results will be significant over time.
I am proud of the business we have built as a team and the relationships we have developed on the journey. Whether it's a sizeable multi-million-pound company, SME or someone starting up, we are always proud of the role we play in creating successful outcomes and high-level return on investments.
I honestly look forward to the next client challenge or new client that comes our way with a great business idea."
If you'd like to learn more about services Creative62 provide which could help your business, visit their website using the button below.  
Discover more about Creative62

📚 Free resources and training

Business Gateway Growth Hub logo with tagline "supporting business growth." Beside it is the European Union Regional Development Fund logo.
 Business Gateway Growth Hub events 

Join a Business Gateway online workshop or webinar this month and learn from speakers who can help you move your small business to the next level.

Fine tune your skills and connect with others in the same situation in areas such as pricing, leading a small team, employment contracts or well-being. All Business Gateway workshops are fully funded.

Remember if you need one-to-one business advice or help sourcing finance you can contact the Business Gateway to be put in touch with an experienced business adviser. Call 0116 366 8487email us or visit the Business Gateway Growth Hub website.

Upcoming events:

Below are a few webinars and workshops aimed at small business owners in Leicester and Leicestershire. Click the links to find out more or for the full list visit the Business Gateway Growth Hub's events page
Visit the Business Gateway Growth Hub

Business Growth Support

An introduction from our newly appointed Business Growth Officer 

"Hello, my name is Hiran, I’m a Business Growth Officer at Blaby District Council. I have recently joined the council and my role is exactly that business growth, I am here to support small and medium sized business within our district. I have developed an understanding of business and business needs during my time at HSBC.
I have a passion to support our local businesses to thrive and develop. We are currently working through a difficult time within our economy with challenges resulting from post Covid, Brexit, the unrest within Ukraine and with the increase in cost of living. I am confident with all these challenges there is opportunity for our businesses to grow and succeed."

Should you require any assistance, please contact Hiran by emailing

 Apply for a Business Growth Grant 

Business Gateway Grants from £2,000-£25,000 are available for established businesses that want to innovate, develop new products/services or expand.

Aimed at businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire, projects must be linked to business development and growth.

Applying is easier than you think. Click the button below to see what grants are available and if your business would be eligible to apply.
Find out about the grants
 Free broadband for businesses 

Vodafone will from today offer free business broadband for a year to help small businesses mitigate rising business costs and stay connected to customers.

Available from 19 October to 24 November, this new support package offers Vodafone’s award-winning business grade broadband free for 12-months on a 24-month plan.

It is available to all small businesses as well as existing Vodafone Business customers who are eligible to upgrade.
Read more about this offer
 Boost your employee's numeracy skills and productivity 
Multiply is a three-year programme delivered by Leicestershire County Council which will help adults in Leicestershire to improve their numeracy skills. Multiply can deliver bespoke courses and resources in conjunction with employers that will support employees to improve their numeracy.

Businesses who develop their employees’ numeracy skills can boost productivity, increase profits and improve retention rates.

Multiply programmes are FREE and available to anyone aged 19+ who doesn’t already have a GCSE grade C/4 or above in Maths.

If you are interested in how we can support your employees, please email
Find out more

Bestselling author and networking expert, Stefan Thomas, shares tips on how to be more positive in a negative business world 

Stefan Thomas has worked with everyone from small business owners, through to multi-national organisations such as BT, Instinctif and Oqema. In a recent article for SME's, he shares some tips about staying positive in a negative business world.

Many business owners feel the outlook for businesses is gloomy, however Stefan says:

“We can always look at any situation as gloomy, or we can remove the labels from it and embrace what opportunities the situation reveals.”

Read the full article by clicking on the button below.
Full article

📣 Have your say

Are you interested in better rail and freight links between the cities of Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham?

Midlands Connect are making the case to the Government that investment in this area will help boost regional growth, improve local connectivity, and support the Levelling Up agenda.

If you have thoughts on this, fill in their survey using the button below.
Fill in the survey

Your Business Hub 

Our Business Hub is on hand to offer dedicated help and support.
Our friendly team is only a call or email away: if we don’t know the answer we promise to find out.

There are so many resources available, many included in this newsletter, and we want to encourage you to access them. 

You can get in touch by completing the form on our support and advice page.
A Great place to Live, Work and Visit
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