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Fully funded business support programme launched to help Torbay businesses grow

Delivered by innovation consultancy Studio Zao, ‘Impact Torbay’ is a business support and growth project aimed at helping businesses and entrepreneurs create new commercial opportunities through innovation.

The ‘Impact Torbay’ programme has been commissioned through funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), receiving Government funding of £351,462. In total, Torbay has received £1,764,043 from UKSPF to invest in local projects with the aims of building pride in place, increasing life chances, supporting local business, and people and skills.

The ‘Impact Torbay’ programme provides businesses with a hands-on and practical environment where they can develop ideas, overcome challenges, and look at growth opportunities. Participants will also be supported to access research and development grants that can help their businesses to thrive and expand.  

Any Torbay-based business or individual looking to grow their enterprise is eligible to apply. The fully funded programme is completely free to participating businesses who can either sign up to a 1-day ‘hackathon’ collaborative workshop (covering the fundamental principles of innovation), or to a 7-week part-time growth accelerator programme.

The first round of businesses to sign up to the programme have now completed their course and have found the support offered valuable and beneficial. One business said:

“We came into the programme with an idea that we felt was already ready to go to market. But we took a step back and by taking it through this very structured and rigorous process, we found that we have refined it and transformed it into a much stronger, simpler and more credible idea. In addition to that, one of the main benefits for us is that we have found within the cohort so many people who are doing a similar thing in other industries, sectors or with other communities, that the ongoing networking, support and mentoring opportunity is far more significant than we would ever have hoped for.”

TDA is managing Torbay’s UKSPF Investment Plan on behalf of Torbay Council, overseeing procurement, allocating funding, and managing the contracts of those organisations delivering the projects.

Councillor Chris Lewis, Cabinet Member for Place Services and Economic Growth for Torbay Council, said: ‘‘We are delighted to offer this fantastic new initiative to local businesses using Torbay’s allocation of UK Shared Prosperity Funding. With this funding, we are working hard to increase people’s life chances and create a Torbay where people are proud to live, work and visit. I strongly encourage anyone across Torbay looking to grow their business to get involved and maximise the free business support on offer.’’

To sign up and for full details about upcoming hackathons and accelerator programmes visit the Impact Torbay website.

Businesses can also sign up at the Riviera Connect Expo in Torquay on 3 October where Studio Zao will be exhibiting, speaking and sharing more about the programme. For more information of Torbay’s Shared Prosperity Fund programme visit or email

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