Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We've partnered with the University of Bedfordshire to support local businesses

Thursday, 30 September 2021

We've partnered with The University of Bedfordshire to support the Central Bedfordshire Productivity Programme, which aims to help local businesses.

Commencing in October 2021, the Central Bedfordshire Productivity Programme is aimed at supporting businesses to think strategically about productivity as a route to long-term growth. Benefits of this programme include:

  • upskilled staff
  • new product and process ideas
  • routes to new funding and inward investment
  • business growth and waste decline

Initially, 200 Central Bedfordshire-based business participants will be recruited and upskilled in the Lean Six Sigma methodology. The businesses most likely to benefit will progress through high-level bespoke workshops focusing on productivity themes which will then lead to signposting for the relevant business contributed grant schemes, with additional tailored productivity plans.

The University of Bedfordshire is partnering with us to support those businesses at the junction of innovation, research and productivity. Working together across the local area, boosting skills and productivity through knowledge exchange and skills provision, the programme will attract new investment, deliver quicker growth and create more jobs.

Councillor Kevin Collins, our Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration said:

Our long-term strategy identifies interventions to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth for Central Bedfordshire and how we can make the most of our current and future strengths and opportunities.

Therefore, we are enthusiastic to see our local businesses have access to this new business initiative. The Central Bedfordshire Productivity Programme is aimed at scale up businesses who are the companies likely to create high-value jobs in the future and thus boosting the local economy.

Councillor David Shelvey, our Executive Member for Corporate Resources said:

The Central Bedfordshire Economic Strategy, which was developed with local stakeholders, including the business community, represents an important opportunity to set out what economic growth should look like, and how it can best be delivered.

Consequently, we have embarked on investing some of the government’s Additional Restriction Grant towards a wider business support package to deliver specialist programmes such as this one to be delivered by the University of Bedfordshire, to achieve relevant, business responsive support.

Dr Nicholas Lancaster, Director of Research & Innovation at the University of Bedfordshire, said:

In the new post-pandemic economy, this relationship is going to be key to growth for our local businesses. Since March 2020, many businesses have turned for support to their local council for the first time and been surprised by the help they received. Now we want to move beyond the sticking-plaster of short-term aid and into the forward-looking growth creation opportunities.

Whether it underpins new environmental sustainability ventures, reveals new export opportunities or just delivers improvements in the bottom line that can be reinvested in the business, the Central Bedfordshire Productivity Programme combines skills, vision and
technical expertise for real impact.

The Research & Innovation Service provides a key service for Bedfordshire’s local economic and business communities, as well as initiating impactful research, collaborations and non-profit funding opportunities between organisations and academics.

Find out more on the university’s website and for more detailed information, or to enquire, email: centralbeds.productivity@beds.ac.uk.