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'Meet the Expert' Business Support Programme and Grant Funding Programme

If you’re looking for new ways to develop and grow your business, the “Meet the Expert” Business Support Programme is for you. The support available is EU funded and completely FREE to SMEs in Devon.

What’s on offer?

“Meet the Expert” will be holding monthly 1:1 business advice events and workshops allowing businesses the opportunity to meet and interact with a range of business experts covering a variety of topics:

  • Strategy and Management
  • Supply Chain
  • Finance/Funding
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Regulations
  • HMRC/Tax
  • Premises/Property
  • Legal Advice
  • Innovation and Intellectual Property
  • HR and Recruitment
  • Skills and Workforce Development
  • Business Expansion

Future events

To find out more about future events, follow the “Meet the Expert” Eventbrite page to receive notifications of forthcoming events.

Following on from these expert advice sessions SMEs may be eligible to access resources, advice and 1-2-1 support, along with a £1,000 grant for external bespoke consultancy support to help business growth.

Who’s it for?

The workshops and events are for everyone, but the funding programme is available only for ERDF eligible SMEs based in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.  We have a dedicated Business Support Team that can talk to you through the ERDF eligibility criteria.

If you would like to find out more about how the programme can help support your business, please contact the Business Support Team:

Emily Collacott
Business Relationship Manager
Plymouth City Council
T:  01752 307895   E: emily.collacott@plymouth.gov.uk

Kate Whitta
ERDF Coordinator
Plymouth City Council
T:  01752 304333   E: kate.whitta@plymouth.gov.uk

Business Advisers

Many thanks to all of the Business Advisers for supporting the delivery of the “Meet the Expert” Business Support Programme, providing practical advice and helping support small businesses to grow.

If you are a Business Adviser and would like to find out more about the programme please contact emily.collacott@plymouth.gov.uk


View the list of previous business advisers and their the biographies here.


An SME is defined as an enterprise which:

  • Employs fewer than 250 employees (including part-time, seasonal and temporary staff); Has an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million (c. £45.3 million), Has an annual balance sheet total value not exceeding €43 million (c.£38.9million); Is not more than 25% owned by another enterprise; Holds less than 25% stake in one or more other enterprises.

Businesses operating in the following sectors are not eligible to receive support from Oceansgate Business Support Programme:

  • Fisheries and aquaculture; Primary production, processing and marketing of agricultural products; Coal, steel and shipbuilding; Nuclear build or decommissioning; Manufacture of synthetic fibres or textiles; Schools and school-age education establishments; Banking and insurance companies; Passenger transport or freight transport (for hire or reward)

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