HMRC announces Portsmouth to become a new regional centre

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have announced that Portsmouth will become the location for a new HMRC regional centre in the south of England and is committed to retaining a long-term presence in Portsmouth as one of their 14 strategic regional centres.

This decision follows a UK wide location review of HMRC’s network of 170 offices in the UK to deliver better services and a great place to work for their staff. In the south, the decision has been taken to have regional centres at Croydon, Portsmouth and Bristol. The decision reflects changes to their workforce and in particular the key skills of their existing staff currently located in Portsmouth.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson Leader of Portsmouth City Council said ” HMRC’s commitment to Portsmouth to become a new regional centre is excellent news for residents and businesses. It is a great vote of confidence in the skills of Portsmouth people, the quality of our educational and skills providers and it will ensure that hundreds of jobs are protected.

Basing the HMRC regional centre in Portsmouth also means a long-term commitment not just by HMRC but by central Government and is likely to result in future employment opportunities”

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Nominations open for Business Excellence Awards 2022

We are delighted to sponsor The News Business Excellence Awards this year. After a tricky couple of years for businesses, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the businesses making a difference to their clients, staff and the local community.

Nominations are now open for 16 categories ranging from Best Business (small, medium and large) to Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.  The awards presentation will take place at The Guildhall on 29 April 2022.

We know that times are challenging, and teams are smaller so we want to make it as easy as possible for businesses to showcase their hard work by providing tips and guidance on what the judges will be looking for. Here are 10 Top Tips for writing an awards submission.

Nominate your business for an award by 28 February

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Claiming back statutory sick pay

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) has been temporarily reintroduced to support employers facing heightened levels of sickness absence due to COVID-19.

If you’re a small or medium-sized employer with under 250 employees, you may be eligible to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs for up to two weeks per employee for COVID-19 related absences from 21 December 2021.

While this is a reintroduction of the scheme which ran until 30 September 2021, it is a new claims period, which means you can claim for eligible employees whether you claimed for them under the previous scheme.

Make sure you have the latest information by joining our webinar – COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme 2 – where you can ask questions and download handouts giving detailed examples and links to more information.

Free webinar 8 Feb 1:45-2:45pm


More great journeys set to begin in Portsmouth this year

Portsmouth International Port have released their initial cruise schedule for 2022, which sees an impressive number of maiden calls from both new cruise lines and ships, over the next 12 months.

This initial release of the cruise schedule will see many cruise passengers begin their journeys in the city, or alternatively stop in Portsmouth to experience the wide range of world-class attractions on offer.

The schedule includes maiden visits for a wide range of cruise lines, including AIDA, Poseidon Expeditions, Oceania Cruises, Seabourn and Mystic Cruises.

Other highlights include the port hosting an inaugural spring cruise season for Virgin Voyages’ ‘Valiant Lady’, along with maiden calls from ‘Viking Mars’ and Swan Hellenic’s ‘SH Vega’.

The port will also welcome vessels from longstanding friends of the port, including Noble Caledonia, Phoenix Reisen, Fred Olsen, Nicko Cruises, Voyages to Antiquity, Linblad and Seacloud.

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University wins bid for new regional Institute of Technology

The University of Portsmouth’s application for a share of £120 million of government capital funding for the development of a new Institute of Technology (IoT) for the region has been successful and will now progress onto the Pre-Award stage.

The planned £13m Maritime Engineering and Digital Institute of Technology aims to meet the Solent region’s future workforce needs across maritime, engineering and digital technologies. It will connect learners across the educational partners through innovative learning opportunities and an employer-led curriculum.

Solent University led the bid, working in partnership with Fareham College as the lead Further Education (FE) partner, Solent LEP and employers including AB (Ports) Southampton, IBM, DP World, Teemil and The Royal Navy. Other partners are Brockenhurst College, Eastleigh College, Havant and South Downs College and Isle of Wight College. The funds will be used to enhance learning facilities across the region, with Institute of Technology centres at each site by 2023.

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