The C-CARE (Covid Channel Area Response Exchange)

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Norfolk County Council and New Anglia LEP are part of an ambitious cross-border project that will deliver a unique package of Covid-19 recovery support for local businesses and people. 

The C-CARE (Covid Channel Area Response Exchange) initiative, funded by the Interreg France (Channel) England programme, is set to reach businesses and people that have been hit hardest in the pandemic.

Drawing on a range of expertise from local government, enterprise and tourism in the UK and France, the project aims to support people at risk of exclusion from the labour market and businesses at risk of closure. 

C-CARE aims to reach 4,500 people and almost 2,000 businesses through its pilot initiatives, which include skills training to help individuals find new routes into employment or start a business, and advice and grants aimed at helping companies reset their business models in response to the pandemic.   

It is hoped that the insights and evidence gathered from the seven partners (see links below) from both sides of the Channel will feed into local plans to aid recovery and resilience planning and ensure measures are in place to support businesses and people to adapt to future pandemics or economic shocks.     

This will include:

·       activities on both sides of the Channel to help individuals gain new knowledge and skills to help with accessing employment,
becoming self-employed or starting a business

·       direct support for businesses including advice, vouchers and grants aimed at helping sectors hard-hit by the pandemic to develop new business models to respond market changes and new customer behaviour whilst ensuring a a green, inclusive and sustainable economic

The C-CARE project received €6.7million from the European Regional Development Fund via the Interreg France (Channel) England programme. The project runs until June 2023.

Other partners are:

Kent County CouncilPlymouth City CouncilConseil Départemental du Finistère, Pas-de-Calais TourismeCampus d’Enseignement Supérieure et de Formation Professionnelle.

New Anglia LEP has secured 1.19m euros to deliver the following activities:


Update as of January 2022

Undertake an evaluation of the collective public
sector response in Norfolk and Suffolk to Covid-19.

This work has now been completed. The final
report and appendices have now been published:

Final Evaluation Report

Deep Dive reviews

Light Touch reviews

Supporting people into self-employment who are currently
unemployed, under-employed or self-employed. Targeting a minimum of 620
participants, with the aim of creating 300 new businesses and 60 new jobs.


Launched in November 2021.

Support is being delivered through
Nwes and Menta and the programme runs until the end of March 2023.

To date, 120 participants have
signed up, with 5 participants having already completed the programme and
started their own businesses.
[HMC2] [MF3] 

Deliver a focussed Challenge Fund for future market
town feasibility and pilot projects in market towns across Norfolk and
Suffolk led by district councils.

Call for Projects launched 18 Jan 2022.

Closing date for Project Call – 25 Feb 2022.

Contracts to run from 1 April 2022 – 31 March


Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said “This programme will offer valuable support to get
people back into work as we look to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Challenge Fund, which will support innovative ideas for our market towns as they adapt to our ‘new normal’, will make sure that we build places where resilient and dynamic businesses can flourish.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the self-employment support available, or want to start your own business, please contact:


·       Nwes – email: [email protected]

·       Menta – email: [email protected]

·      New Anglia Growth Hub – telephone: 0300 333 6536

For further information about the project activities being undertaken by New Anglia LEP, please contact [email protected]