• HM Gov
  • BIG
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Funding for business development projects in Cornwall
  • HM Gov
  • BIG
  • CDC
  • EURF
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Funding for busines development projects in Cornwall

BIG grant helps Truro language school to gain accreditation

Funding from BIG Productivity has helped Truro-based Language Tree achieve accreditation from the British Council

Language Tree, a language school based in Truro, has received accreditation from the British Council, thanks to a grant from BIG Productivity.

The accreditation means that Language Tree can now welcome students from all over the world to learn English in the heart of Truro. The accreditation also opens up new doors for the school – it can now attend the annual StudyWorld Fair, which aims to connect education institutions with contacts from across the world.

Joel Ashton, Director of Language Tree, is delighted with the accreditation: “This is a great accolade which means we can welcome students from across the globe. Obviously this can’t happen at the moment, but once it is safe to do so, we are in a great position to safely welcome international visitors to Cornwall. It’s a real mark of quality. It will not only help us grow our team here at Language Tree, but will open up new markets to us.”

Language Tree began operating in August 2017. It currently has four core staff and an additional six sessional and part-time employees. Now he has the accreditation in place, Joel is keen to grow his team of permanent staff.

The school offers a range of courses for those who are living and working in the UK and want to improve their English, and runs summer courses so people can combine learning with a holiday in Cornwall. There is also a series of adult and children’s classes for all levels in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and German.

Joel said: “We offer bespoke packages to small groups of international visitors and use excursions to develop language skills and intercultural exchange. For me, Cornwall is an amazing place to visit and we have such an interesting culture and heritage to show off to the world. I think it’s really important that people travel and experience different cultures.

“This year has been particularly unusual for us, but we worked hard to keep going and come out the other side of Covid-19. We are very excited to see what the future holds.”

Joel is familiar with Cornwall’s funding opportunities, but came across BIG Productivity while searching online.

“BIG Productivity has been very supportive and it has been a useful process to be part of. By putting together forecasting and market research, we were able have a clear plan of what we wanted to do, and where we wanted to be, over the next three to five years. We were also well placed when it came to applying for the British Council accreditation, as we had all the information ready.

“BIG Productivity has not only helped us from a financial perspective but has opened doors for us in the area, introducing us to business support facilities such as the Growth Hub and Unlocking Potential. Through this activity, we have also connected with the Department for International Trade, who have put together a report about Japan for us, which is a market that has real potential for growth for us.”

Anna Staevska, BIG Productivity's programme manager, said: "Language Tree is one of a kind - offering quality, accredited language courses for people from all over the world. Despite ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, funding from BIG Productivity has meant that the school can take the next steps in its growth journey and continue to flourish from its home in the heart of Cornwall."

BIG Productivity is a £3.1m fund that offers grants from £2,500 up to £150,000 to qualifying small and medium-sized businesses in Cornwall to boost their productivity.

BIG Productivity is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, and is delivered by Cornwall Development Company. It aims to help 175 local businesses become more productive and create 175 new jobs in the Cornish economy.

The fund has also launched a new advisory service to offer strategic, non-financial support to Cornish SMEs. The Advanced Advisory Service (AAS) is looking to engage with 30 ERDF-eligible Cornish SMEs, with a turnover of more than £250,000, on projects that will be a catalyst for growth.

For more information on BIG Productivity or to see if your business might be eligible visit www.businessinvestmentforgrowth.co.uk

Find out more and apply for BIG2 funding by clicking here: APPLY HERE