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Somerset Business Agency provides a big boost for Sedgemoor enterprise and self-employment

Somerset Business Agency (SBA) has secured funding from EDF Energy for an innovative Self Employment and Enterprise project run in conjunction with Sedgemoor District Council.

The new project has been launched in response to the large number of major developments planned for the district, including Hinkley Point C and National Grid’s proposed Hinkley Point C connection, which will create opportunities for the supply chain. These developments will help small businesses and enterprises to meet supply chain demands and boost the local economy.

The project will start with engagement sessions at the beginning of May in Bridgwater and Highbridge followed by workshops and 1-1 sessions covering all topics needed for those wishing to start their own business or become self-employed. Getting good advice at the initial stages of becoming self-employed is crucial to long term success and the project will also involve HMRC and Jobcentre Plus. It is aimed to help those particularly in the Bridgwater and Highbridge areas. Cllr Anne Fraser, portfolio holder for Strategy and Development at Sedgemoor, said: “These are exciting times for Sedgemoor with a range of major developments in the offing that will stimulate the economy locally and strengthen the supply chain. It would be easy to overlook individuals or small firms in these circumstances but we are determined to maximise the benefits for as many people and organisations as possible which means putting money and effort into schemes such as this SBA project to ensure people and businesses are in the best position to seize the chances that will come their way.”

Jamie Driver, Local Procurement Lead from EDF Energy, said: “Through our committed funding for preliminary works at Hinkley Point C, we are delighted to support this initiative which aims to promote enterprise and entrepreneurial activity in Sedgemoor.”

To register for any of the sessions please go to the website www.somersetbusinesagency.org or call 01458 211272

Notes to Editors

Somerset Business Agency CIC We are an innovative organisation which takes a fresh and enlightened approach to the economic development of our home county of Somerset. We specialise in providing advice, guidance and working with Somerset micro businesses, start ups and the self employed through our mentoring programmes, business diagnostics and business training courses and workshops. At the Somerset Business Agency we provide the most up to date “on message” support and guidance to these individuals as they begin their journey with their new business or enterprise through business start-up and bespoke training sessions, networking opportunities and one to one meetings. We are committed to bring this style of business support into the heart of communities throughout Somerset. Our service also supports recently established businesses who feel the need of ongoing support in the early years of their business or enterprise development. We work with teams of experts to sign post to relevant help, make connections and create an environment for ideas exploration, creative thinking and ultimate sustainable business success for people and communities across Somerset. Sedgemoor District Council Sedgemoor District Council is a pro-business authority. It recognises the need for major projects in the national interest and aims to see that the overall balance of outcomes from them is positive for the local communities. To that end it is working with developers and third party organisations to optimise the opportunities they bring for local business and enterprise. For further information contact Vicky Banham on 01278 436495. EDF Energy EDF Energy is one of the UK's largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-sixth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to more than 5.5 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain. EDF Energy's safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK's largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework. These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain's homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK's future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers. Through Our Sustainability Commitments, EDF Energy has launched one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company. In the 2012 Business in the Community Awards for Excellence EDF Energy won the awards for Environmental Leadership and Building Stronger Communities. In addition the company received eight BITC "Big Tick" awards in recognition of responsible business practice and was shortlisted for Responsible Business of the Year EDF was the official electricity supplier and an official partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The company is also helping its customers and others use energy more sustainably through products and initiatives such as Team Green Britain, real time energy monitoring and electric vehicle research. EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe's largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK. For more news from EDF Energy please see www.edfenergy.com/media-centre/ . To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/

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Release Date: 18th April 2013

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