Scottish town piloting Barclays’ business support programme

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A SCOTTISH town is the first to benefit from a business support programme developed by Barclays.

Businesses in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, can get help with issues such as cash flow, resilience, and funding growth.

The town is piloting the bank’s initative, called Rebuilding Thriving Local Economies (RTLE).

Barclays’ partners already include East Ayrshire Council and Kilmarnock Business Association.

Kilmarnock. Pic: Billy McCrorie

HALO Urban Regeneration, a £65m urban regeneration project and the first town centre net zero carbon energy project in Scotland, has also signed up.

The Back to Business Programme, created in partnership with Cambridge Judge Business School, is a free, bespoke online toolkit for businesses.

The course features over 15 hours’ worth of content, developed especially for small-to-medium sized enterprises.

Participants will be able to learn how to assess the health of a business, how to manage cash flow, and how to create a resilience plan for their firm.

And for business owners looking to grow or finance new business lines, the Funding Readiness programme is designed to explain funding options and provide the skills and knowledge needed to fund business growth.

Stuart Brown, Head of Business Banking and Branch, Barclays Scotland, said: “Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we support business growth across the country.

“We’ve seen the impact of the pandemic on small and medium-sized businesses and now is the time to provide important skills, mentoring and funding advice so that we can support local economies to recover and thrive.”

Marie Macklin, founder and executive Chair of HALO Urban Renewal, said: “We welcome Barclays’ announcement, which builds on the launch of its Thriving Local Economies initiative launched 18 months ago.”

The business programmes are the first in a series of packages of support to be announced throughout the year in Kilmarnock, which will further aid local businesses, provide access to skills and training and boost the aspiration and confidence of young people in the local community.

Businesses wishing to access the Back to Business or Funding Readiness programmes should visit: labs.barclays/capital-enterprise and https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/executive-education/barclays/barclays-back-to-business-programme/ .