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Business advice

Our Economic Growth team offer a gateway advice service - you can phone or email for information on all of the following:

  • Setting up a business
  • Potential grant sources
  • Next steps to take for expanding your business
  • Vacant premises search
  • Business rates
  • Regulatory services - planning, building control, waste, environmental services.

Just phone on 01295 221780 or email your query to

Contacts for local support networks

An excellent range of local support networks is available to businesses based in Cherwell District. These are detailed in our Business Contacts leaflet (download the PDF on the right).

Support for Cherwell businesses 

Cherwell businesses are eligible for support from both the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

Services provided by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership include Oxfordshire Business Support, with free advice for starting and expanding businesses. They have specialist advisors for different employment sectors.

Services provided by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership include the Velocity Growth Hub with free one-to-one advice; business development grants of up to £50,000; and local workshops on key growth issues. For more details, download the Velocity leaflet on the right, or call the Velocity Helpline on 0300 4563565.

Skills Support for the Workforce in South East Midlands; Fully funded training courses to help your business grow

Are you a small or medium-sized business? Are you interested in free, fully funded training?  If so, Skills Support for the Workforce could be for you!

Serco and it's supply chain are delivering Skills Support for the Workforce, a programme which is co-funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the European Social Fund (ESF). It aims to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses, providing recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance your employees' skills, increase the competitiveness of your business and boost the local economy. 

Basic skills and more specialist Intermediate and Higher Level (IHL) skills training are available - but hurry up, the fully funded training is only available for a short period.

Further information is available through the PDF document on the right-hand side of this page.

Eligibility criteria applies, so for more information please contact or if you have any specific questions, you can contact or 07718 194888.

Local Implications of Brexit: Considerations and Recommendations

South Northamptonshire Council and Cherwell District Council have commissioned a Report on the 'Local Implications of Brexit: Considerations and Recommendations'. It is available to view and download as a PDF document on the right-hand side of this page.

The Report provides an action plan to ensure the Councils future activities to improve the local economy are informed and evidence based.

The Report Authors, Deyton Bell, look in turn at the main economic implications of Brexit. The Report then maps the potential  impacts and consequences against four themes:

  • Macro-economy
  • Industry
  • Household and
  • Government

The Report then concludes with a range of findings, observations and recommendations drawn from a range of local stakeholders who contributed to the study.

Employing People

Opportunities for recruitment and development of staff:

Staff members are a tremendous asset; investing in training and work based opportunities can ensure your staff are motivated, securing repeat custom.  However, not only must employers consider how to remain competitive and develop their workforce, there are changes in government policy to be considered too. This guide brings together good quality sources of advice and guidance; allowing you to focus implementation helping your business to grow.

See the PDF on the right: Employing People.

Business Growth service: Design Mentoring

Design is more than the shaping and styling of products and services. It can transform the way a company thinks and works yet it remains one of business's best kept secrets.

Design mentoring is a high impact form of support which demonstrates how any business can benefit from its powerful influence to develop long-term opportunities for growth.

It provides coaching and hands-on practical guidance by providing design management specialists to work with you at the heart of your business. Working directly with senior management teams they will support your capability to use and manage design effectively and profitably. The service is tailored to meet specific business need.

Visit the website and see the PDF on the right: Business Growth Service. Design Mentoring

Government has changed the way its business services are accessed, making its offer to businesses clearer and simpler to understand:

Visit the GREAT Business website, where all Government advice, guidance and support is brought together into one place

  • at the core of the website is a new online tool called My Business Support. This directs businesses to the most relevant support, based on their needs
  • if  you can't find what you need, call an adviser on the Government's free Business Support Helpline - 0300 456 3565

The Oxfordshire Economic Observatory

The Oxfordshire Economic Observatory (OEO) is an independent research centre dedicated to undertaking world-class research into the knowledge-economy of advanced regions. It focuses particularly on the cluster of firms and research institutions that comprise the Oxfordshire knowledge-economy, in the context of the South East of England.

The Observatory aims to promote an understanding of the interaction of local, national and global processes shaping the path of economic development in Oxfordshire. This will be benchmarked against the performance of other advanced regions. The objective is for this knowledge to be used to further the growth of the county's firms by contributing to evidence-based policy making.

The Observatory will monitor both short and long term trends. It will work together with local, regional, national and international organisations which have an interest in understanding and promoting the Oxfordshire economy and its competitive ranking against similar regions.


Identified by Local Futures as one of the best places in the UK from which to operate a business, Cherwell (north Oxfordshire) is a very attractive place to be. To make it even more attractive, Cherwell District Council undertakes research to inform its own policies, plans and services to support residents and businesses. By sharing this information, the Council hopes it will assist with business planning and investment in the local economy.

We hope you find this resource useful. For further details, contact Cherwell's Economic Development Officer on 01295 221860.

Research compiled for Cherwell Local Plan 2011-2031

Official labour market statistics for Cherwell District

Social Enterprise

Oxfordshire is an innovative county with entrepreneurial spirit. Recent changes in government policy have enabled charities and community based organisations to explore social enterprise as an additional funding opportunity; raising valuable funds for service provision. For more information please click on the links:

Apprenticeship grants

Businesses in north Oxfordshire are eligible to obtain a grant to invest in young people through apprenticeships.  For further details please contact Banbury & Bicester College:

Telephone: 0808 168 6626

Sustainable routes - claim up to £1,000 to cut your travel costs

Please see the attached poster regarding this grant.  Further details can be found by visiting the following website: Sustainable Routes.

Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards Service

Business Advice for Established Oxfordshire Businesses.

When your start-up business takes off, or if your business is already established, you need detailed, tailored advice, over and above general self-help advice. Speak to one of our highly trained and experienced Trading Standards staff.

  • Assessment of and guidance on product labels at the request of the business (e.g. food labels, credit advertisements, safety labels).
  • Assessing new or existing terms and conditions of business on request
  • Delivery of training in relevant subjects on request
  • Education and prevention work in relation to under age sales
  • Assessment of brochures or advertisements on request
  • Site visits at the request of the business to assess compliance of processes, systems or products
  • Testing of equipment (separate rates apply)
  • We still collect and raise complaints about Oxfordshire businesses as part of our normal enforcement duties.

General advice on the areas Trading Standards covers is free. If your query is more complex or you need tailored/bespoke advice, you will be asked to register with us before we give you the advice. This advice is offered on a cost
recovery basis and will be charged in units of half an hour. For further information, see the Trading Standards factsheet on this page. 

0845 051 0845

Kidlington Voice

Kidlington Voice was founded in 1996 as a vehicle for airing the views of those who have an interest in Kidlington, its businesses and organisations. Its website has been developed to provide an opportunity for local businesses and organisations to promote themselves to others in the Kidlington community: Kidlington Voice

Youth Start-up Loan Scheme

If you are between 18 and 30 years old and are starting a business, there is a new affordable loan programme for you. This is a national scheme but is administered in Oxfordshire by Fredericks (see above).

For more information, please contact Fredericks Foundation on 01276 472722 or email

Open to Export

Open to Export is a community-based free online service from UK Trade and Investment aimed at helping small and medium sized enterprises with their exporting and international trade needs. The website contains extensive resources from government and specialist organisations as well as a popular Q and A section where business owners can ask questions to the wider community and get the answers they need. 

This is an immensely useful service for anyone wishing to do business abroad Open to Export online community for UK exporters.

Mint UK

Mint UK can help you to find out more about companies - what they do, who runs them or how successful they are. You can produce mailing lists for your sales and marketing campaigns.

To make use of this free service, contact the Oxford Central Library at Westgate, Oxford, OX1 1DJ.

Telephone: 01865 815409


Briefing Note on European Funding 2014 - 2020

European Funding Programmes operate on a 7 year funding cycle. The latest cycle is the 2014 to 2020 Programme, which officially began on 1 January 2014 although the finer details are still being agreed. EU Funding streams distributed through the UK Government are known as the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF). There are other funding streams directly managed from Europe (e.g. Horizon 2020, which funds research and development).

For full details see the attached paper - or contact the SEMLEP Office on 01234 436100.

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