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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:

Jonny Prout
Business Relationship Manager
Plymouth City Council
T:  01752 304328   E: Jonny.Prout@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 Jonny.Prout@plymouth.gov.uk


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


“Pebbles is South Devon’s leading property management services company for private second homes, holiday homes and estates. We are a family run company and over the last 16 years we have grown to include a dedicated combined team of nearly 100 full time and part time staff as well as a trusted network of local partner specialists.

Operating from our offices in Salcombe, we offer a range of services including property management, housekeeping, gardening, laundry and maintenance services. We also have two subsidiary companies – Refurb by Pebbles, which offers a complete project management service for property refurbishments of all sizes, as well as HolidayHost – a support service that helps property owners to manage self-let holiday homes effectively.

Pebbles is always looking for ways it can continue to develop its service in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the market. This year, we have welcomed the support of the ‘Meet the Expert’ programme, which enabled us to secure a £1,000 grant to assist with our strategic growth targets both in terms of providing that investment money and also by giving us free access to informative and interactive consultant-led advice workshops. Having found enormous value in the experience, knowledge and perspective provided to us, I would highly recommend that other local businesses in Devon sign up for the programme if they are looking to develop and grow their organisations. No matter how long you have been in your industry, there are always new things to learn and benefit to be gained from different perspectives.”

James Spencer, Managing Director, Pebbles of Salcombe


“The process mapping workshop delivered by Craig Willis of Skore was informative and just at the right pace.  It was definitely food for thought, specifically where I could make cost and time savings through using and creating new processes, as a result I have implemented two processes, one in time recording for an employee and the other are customer service templates. He is a skilled presenter and seems like a nice chap.”

Mina Marmolejo, Founder & Creative Director, Health Mind Body Ltd


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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