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Metro Mayor launches new LCR Future Innovation Fund to support the City Region's most innovative SMEs

LIVERPOOL City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, has launched the ₤3m LCR Future Innovation Fund to support businesses in the Region to adapt and innovate in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivered through Growth Platform, the new fund will provide grants to support SMEs that have reacted innovatively to the changed business environment created by COVID-19. The fund is part of a wider response by the Metro Mayor and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, to re-purpose and re-shape the funding available for businesses. These funds are being made available via the:- 'Strategic Investment Fund' to meet the needs of the City Region's business community. The 1st wave of the fund will provide ₤1m of funding and will be open for applications on 12/06/20, with grants of between ₤25,000 and ₤100,000 available. Subsequent releases of the fund will be shaped by learning from the initial scheme.

Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, said:- "Businesses in Liverpool City Region have shown an unbelievable ability to adapt and innovate their current business models to successfully weather these extremely challenging times. The overriding priority for us all has to be the safety of the people who live and work in the City Region We need to ensure those businesses are supported so that they can help drive our ambitions for inclusive growth in the City Region beyond the far reaching impact of COVID-19. Our economy will need major financial support from central government to recover, but we have to do what we can to support businesses in the here and now. This is a limited fund, but I am sure that it will make a huge difference to businesses who have shown innovation, ingenuity and agility in their responses to this terrible economic shock."

The grants will be awarded to businesses that can demonstrate alignment to the Local Industrial Strateg like:-

Looking at priority areas for building a sustainable industrial future, manufacturing and engineering businesses, that are adapting their businesses and processes to respond to new market opportunities and industry requirements.

Open health innovation:- businesses with opportunities to support the health and wellbeing of LCR residents and nationally / globally, during and following the pandemic.

Global cultural capital:- businesses with opportunities to support the resilience of LCR's cultural vibrancy during and following the pandemic.

Zero carbon economy:- businesses pioneering sustainable approaches to living, travel and doing business in a post pandemic world.

Tech for good: businesses that use technology and data to improve society, including, but not limited to:- Smart City applications, pan sector digitalisation and AI diffusion.

Digitalisation: business initiatives in any sector that will yield a clear improvement in business productivity, adaptability and/or diversification.

Eligible companies must be a registered SME, operational before 1 January 2020 with headquarters or significant operations in the Liverpool City Region. For further eligibility details and information on how to apply please visit- GrowthPlatform.Org.

Hugh Baird College's Sport, Exercise and Fitness department nominated for award at the 2020 Fitness Professional Awards

HUGH Baird College's Sport, Exercise and Fitness department has been nominated for the Training Provider of the Year award at the 2020 Fitness Professional Awards (also known as the Fit Pro Awards). The Fit Pro Awards is now in their 6th year recognising the hard working achievements within the thriving Fitness industry. The awards recognise both independent and commercial businesses each year. Each business/individual working within the UK Fitness industry has the opportunity to be nominated for one of the amazing awards, with finalists selected by the people of the UK. The College has successfully made it to the long list for the Training Provider of the year award as the only Further Education College in the country. The Sport, Exercise and Fitness department, at the College, offers a range of courses that help students progress to employment or on to university. The courses on offer range from general sports, fitness instruction, personal training, exercise referral to sports massage therapy courses as well as a number of other industry courses. All students benefit from being taught by experienced staff and the state of the art gym facility, Lifestyle Fitness. Joining the list of shortlisted Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors are ex-students, Tom Lamkin, Vicky Wood and Zac Lacy.

Marianne O'Brien, Hugh Baird College Fitness Instruction student, said:- "I love studying at the College, my tutors are so supportive, passionate, enthusiastic and work really hard to develop the strengths of each and every student. Training with other students on a daily basis has given me the opportunity to learn from the skills, qualities and experiences of my peers and improve my interpersonal skills. The tutors at the College also have many connections within the fitness industry and hold an annual 'Industry Professionals' day where students studying Sports, Exercise and Fitness can get a flavour of what it is like to work within the industry via presentations, classes and discussions delivered by industry professionals. As a result of participating in a HIITSTEP class (delivered on the day), I decided to take the opportunity to gain a further qualification as a HIITSTEP Instructor, something I wouldn't have had the confidence to do otherwise. I am now looking forward to utilising my skills and Level 2 qualification next year to begin delivering fitness classes, whilst continuing my professional development and studying towards the Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training."

Michael Carney, Hugh Baird College Lecturer in Physical Education, said:- "Being nominated and making the short list of the 2020 Fitness Professional Awards is an amazing achievement for us. We're working tirelessly to build a diverse programme, led by industry specialists, that provides prospective fitness professionals with all of the skills, qualifications and experience possible to excel in a competitive industry. We are honoured to make the list for these amazing awards that are paving the way in recognising the achievement of professionals, not only in our Region but now nationally."

To vote, please visit:- FitProAwardsUK.Com. For more information on Sport, Exercise and Fitness courses, you can visit the College's website or alternatively call them on:- 0151 353 4444 for more information.

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