Economic Development

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: I already run a business on the Island. What help can you give me?

Answer: The economic development team has many years experience in assisting local companies. If we cannot assist you directly we can signpost you to those agencies which may be able to offer you help.

We can offer you advice on a whole range issues including access to finance, grant funding, skills funding, planning, commercial property, land, development and on local investment opportunities.

We work closely with a wide variety of partners including the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

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Question: I want to relocate my business or invest on the Isle of Wight. What help can you give me?

Answer: We offer tailored inward investment packages to investors. We are extremely supportive of anyone looking to invest on the Isle of Wight and will support investors in any way we can.

The team provides a comprehensive service for businesses considering relocating or expanding or investors seeking commercial development opportunities.

We can:

~ Identify suitable business premises or sites and arrange viewings with commercial agents
~ Provide tailored information on skills, industry strengths, the local economy and living in the region
~ Identify grants and funding and provide support with recruitment and training
~ Organise tours showcasing the Isle of Wight’s offer to investors
~ Make introductions to local business networks and local authority contacts

We recognise that each business has individual needs and can provide tailored information to assist with your relocation and / or development decisions. Please do not hesitate to contact the inward investment team if you require further assistance or information.

For more information please visit – www.investinisleofwight.co.uk/ - Related Link

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Question: Can you help me find employment land or commercial premises?

Answer: We have an excellent knowledge of the local commercial property market and all the employment sites on the Isle of Wight.

We can introduce you to local commercial agents.

Sites and Inward investment

o The IOW Council works closely with developers and owners in bringing employment and commercial sites to market and attracting companies.
o The IOW Council provides a comprehensive service for potential inward investors. It is also a substantial contributor to the service provided by the LEP for inward investment.

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Question: Do I need to make an appointment to see the Economic Development Officer?

Answer: Yes - the Economic Development Officer is not always available. You can save a wasted journey by phoning or on iwight.com (please use the Contact tab and then select send a message to this service) to book a date and time.

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Question: I want to start my own business. What help can you give me?

Answer: We are happy to discuss any new business proposals however we tend to work more with larger and medium sized companies.

Support for smaller or micro businesses, as well as new start companies is via partner organisations such as the Solent Growth Hub and Jobcentre Plus. An example of a small business scheme is the New Enterprise Allowance which can provide money and support to help you start your own business if you're getting certain benefits. The scheme is run by Jobcentre Plus.

We can offer guidance on business funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

Existing businesses and new start enterprises can both apply to the Solent Growth Fund - however you should consider some key areas of eligibility.

o Funding cannot be provided to cover businesses existing working capital requirements, only capital expenditure
o The fund is to stimulate job creation

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Question: What projects or initiatives are the Council's Economic Development Team involved in?

Answer: Projects and programmes

~ Assisted area – currently a proportion of the Island has been provisionally designated as an Assisted Area. (Lead – IOW Council) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-aid-assisted-areas-introduction

~ SOREC – an ERDF funded project which is to set up an employers’ organisation for the offshore renewable energy companies in the SE of England. Activities include a grant scheme for SMEs, Innovation and tech transfer, supply chain development and events. While the original ERDF funding has finished, SOREC continues as an organisation, is working closely with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and is a partner in several bids for funding with an Innovation bid currently in negotiation over the funding agreement and should start in the new year. (Lead – IOW Council) https://www.competefor.com/sorec/

~ PTEC – the council is a partner in the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre, a state-of-the-art tidal energy generation project http://perpetuustidal.com/

~ Apprentice scheme – support for companies recruiting an apprentice. (Lead – IOW College and work place training providers) https://www.iwcollege.ac.uk/course-areas/apprenticeships/

~ The Solent Growth Fund - a grant schemes for smaller to medium sized companies on the Isle of Wight (Lead – Solent LEP, partner – IOW Council) http://solentlep.org.uk/growing_places

~ Your Future – annual careers fair aimed at 14-24 year olds. (Partnership event – IOW Council and IOW College) https://www.iwcollege.ac.uk/yourfuture/

~ LEADER – replaced by the rural SME fund. (Lead - Natural Enterprise) http://www.naturalenterprise.co.uk/pages/economic/110-the-isle-of-wight-sme-fund

~ IOW Lottery, a local business lottery the profits of which support SMEs with low interest loans and mentoring (Lead – IOW Chamber) http://isleofwightlottery.com/

~ Visit Wight – tourism DMO (Destination Management Organisation) – marketing organisation for tourism a partnership body involving the Council and various private sector companies, supported by the WIGHT BID scheme where money from a levy on business rates supports marketing activities (Lead - VIOW) https://isleofwightbid.com/

~ Warm Up Wight – a home energy efficiency scheme which offers free insulation and heating improvements and employs local people http://www.warmupwight.co.uk/

~ Smart Grid – the council is part of a large EU consortium looking to test grid balancing technologies and improve the local electricity distribution network

~ Homestead Community Solar – a solar farm at Ningwood, owned by Wight Community Energy, which has invited investment from local residents and businesses www.iowcommunityenergy.org

Solent-wide schemes and projects:

The IOW Council is an active partner in the Solent LEP and promotes all the schemes on the Isle of Wight www.solentlep.org.uk

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Question: Which organisations are involved in economic development on the Isle of Wight?

Answer: o The IOW Council – business support, inward investment, strategy, sites, planning, skills, project and commissioning
o The IOW Chamber of Commerce – traditional roles of a chamber, business support, start-up advice, local lottery which supports economic development, exporting.
o Natural Enterprise – Rural affairs, environmental issues
o FSB – business networking
o Job Centre Plus – working with unemployed people, partner organisation in several projects involving unemployed people.
o IOW College – skills, partner with organisations on skills and careers
o Visit Isle of Wight - tourism, destination management plan and place marketing

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