Specialist Support

Neath Port Talbot Council sees investment in new business start-ups, the development of existing businesses and the attraction of inward investors as critical to supporting local communities and the economy.

Investment in the development of local businesses is essential to ensuring the long-term sustainability of any venture, through building resilience, capacity, increasing productivity, improving skills and developing their flexibility to respond to the changing needs of the wider economy. Further, there is the need for investments that reduce businesses impact on the environment. 

With such investment, Neath Port Talbot cultivates a more dynamic, innovative, greener and versatile economy, with a skilled and flexible workforce that is able to withstand the challenges that face the global economy over time. 

General Business Consultancy Support provides up to 3 days support which can be either a diagnostic to review business operations or can focus on specific areas of the business such as marketing, social media, production processes, procurement, or other bespoke business development issues. 

Consultancy costs are fully funded and is open to both existing and start-up businesses operating across all business sectors. 

Enhanced Innovation and Manufacturing Consultancy Support provides up to 6 days fully funded specialist consultancy support. With a focus on Innovation and Manufacturing, this support will help local businesses overcome barriers to innovation to increase productivity and growth. Businesses can also be supported to access other UK funded programmes aligned to achieving business growth and scale up of operations. 

Consultancy costs are fully funded and is open to existing, new start-ups and university spin out businesses operating with a focus on Innovation and Manufacturing. 

This will involve offering training to enable businesses to assess and review their own Energy Usage and inform them on how to take immediate action to make cost savings and importantly, begin to plan for the introduction of new technologies and legislation. 

In addition, Energy Efficiency Audits will also be delivered to businesses with high energy usage which will complement the training provision aimed at supporting our micro businesses and those operating within the Foundational Economy. 

Energy Efficiency Audits will provide high energy usage businesses with a cost and energy saving analysis based upon available technology that could be adopted and an indication of the potential investment options open to the business. This will enable the business to take an informed decision on investment and any behavioural changes needed to reduce their costs and carbon footprint. 

Working with a consultant, the audit will cover both the fabric of a business’ premises and its operations as well as considering staff behaviours to identify key areas in which it could reduce it consumption, costs and carbon footprint. 

The business will receive a report and Action Plan highlighting their energy usage and potential cost savings if recommendations were to be implemented. 

Free training workshops are available to show local businesses how they can use an Auditing Tool to help them understand: 

  • Energy usage; 
  • Impact of their emissions on the environment; 
  • How measuring and reporting environmental performance can help businesses lower energy and resource costs; 
  • The risks of climate change. 

Undertaking Carbon Reduction training is the first step for a business. For those identifying carbon reduction measures to cut usage and costs, grant support could be available (up to 50% of costs) to introduce new technologies, equipment, etc. 

The Energy Audit, Carbon Reduction Training and associated grant support is delivered via the Shared Prosperity Funded Enhanced Business Support for Growth and Innovation project. 

Small businesses rarely have the luxury of a dedicated IT department to provide advice on the purchase of new equipment or, the adoption and integration of new technologies. Also, as home working is often required, there is an increasing need for businesses to consider data security and access video calling or various messaging and social media platforms. 

The Council’s Shared Prosperity Funded Supporting Business & Innovation project provides local businesses with FREE Digital Consultancy Support to help identify opportunities to extend the use of IT, prioritise actions and understand what investment is required. 

The Digital Consultancy Support will also provide owner/managers and staff with the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to make the right choices to maximise any investment when considering new digital technologies. 

Support is tailored to meeting the needs of less IT/tech savvy new, existing and home-based businesses, particularly those operating within the Foundational Economy, i.e. leisure, tourism, hospitality, retail, and those delivering other local services. 

Further support may also be made available either through workshops; seminars, etc., or by applying for grant support to support the costs of introducing any new technology. 

Smart Manufacturing Mapping provides up to 5 days fully funded consultancy support to scope technology options that could help the business improve productivity or efficiency. 

An Analysis Tool is establish current capabilities and future plans of the business and identify any potential barriers. Recommendations of technologies appropriate for the business and a detailed roadmap are then developed that the business can use as a roadmap to achieving efficiencies and growth while overcoming any identified challenges. Technology areas covered by the review can include Automation; Robots; Cobots; Smart Sensors; Virtual and Augmented Reality; Connected Intelligent Systems; Digital Twinning; Process and Supply Chain; Simulation and Optimisation; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Additive Manufacturing and CNC optimisation. 

Consultancy can also link businesses with other digital support programmes to support the deployment; trialling and testing of digital solutions. Support will be focused on businesses aligned to Advanced Manufacturing, Digitalisation & Software; Process & Civil Engineering, Construction, Greentech, Agritech, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Automotive, Aerospace, Logistics and Defence business activities. 

Consultancy costs are fully funded and is open to existing, new start-ups and university spin out businesses operating with a focus Business Growth, Market Development, Orbital Planning, Diversification, Innovation and the adoption of technology to achieve SMARTManufacturing. 

If you think that your business could benefit from specialist support, contact us to find out how we could help.

If you think that your business could benefit from specialist support, contact us to find out how we could help.