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Funding for local businesses to become high performing workplaces

For businesses in the Leeds City Region 40% funded training and development opportunities are being offered with Chamber members and employee engagement and development specialists, Pro-Development.  Having already access over £17,000 worth of funding for eligible local SME companies in Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, who employ fewer than 250 full time equivalent staff with an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, they are keen to help others to address some of the challenges that Coronavirus has highlighted.

Pro-Development, who have been supporting local businesses for the last nine years, are a local training partner with the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC) who launched their Higher Performing Workplaces project in April 2020 aimed at supporting SMEs in the Leeds City Region to grow through developing internal talent with an extensive range of training programmes with 40% funding towards the cost from the European Social Fund (ESF).

Founder of Pro-Development and former York Press Awards Business Personality of the Year, Michelle Mook, is concerned that many businesses will lose key talent as people are now dealing with the aftermath of the changes and a lack of investment into people at this time will only exacerbate this.  The funding is helping to make a big difference enabling businesses to invest at a time when cashflow, in some cases, is tight.

Ms Mook said that the businesses that are accessing the funding are seeing a rise in engagement in the business and it is helping to address some of the conflict and divides that have arisen through virtual working and the furlough scheme.

She said: “The employee engagement projects which attract 40% funding are really helping businesses to understand what is working at the moment and where they may have some challenges and together, we are helping to build action plans that will help them towards becoming a higher performing workplace.

“That along with the empowering leaders projects which includes our unique 7-month outdoor experiential programme and a mentoring programme, both again which are eligible for 40% funding, are providing the time, support, training and skills development which is helping leaders, managers and individuals to develop and ensure they are bringing out the best in their teams and each other.”

Pro-Development have helped several companies in the last few weeks to make changes and can already see the difference it is making.  One of their clients, Mollan & Co, an Accountancy practice in York, were keen to create a high performing team.

Managing Director, Rob Mollan, said “Access to the help and funding made the decision to get assistance developing our team a no brainer. All teams need nurturing to get the best but unfortunately the pressure of the day to day business can mean this is something that can be neglected. Knowing that a happy functional team means we can do the best for our clients we appointed Pro-Development to run a team building day which was a big success. We found that getting someone from outside the business was a positive allowing people to be more open in discussing the issues and opportunities. We will defiantly be using Pro-Development again to help rebuild the team spirit after so many weeks of remote working during lockdown.”

Pro-Development are also pleased to announce that they will also be one of just 3 providers in the region offering fully funded Back in Business Peer to Peer Group sessions with new groups starting in October and then another in November to help SME businesses work together and support each other with the current challenging environment over the coming weeks.

Joanne Patrickson, Project Director at the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges said, “These sessions will allow individuals to connect with like-minded business people from across our region to share experiences and ideas to get back on the road to business growth.

“We’re giving SMEs the opportunity to solve issues with their peers and action-plan to take their business forward in a changing economy, at no cost to them. Each session will be facilitated by a highly qualified coach, who will support and encourage solution-based discussions.”

Anyone interested in finding our more about the funded programmes should contact them by emailing and they will check eligibility and share the range of opportunities available.  You can also find our more on their website