Prince’s fund open for £50,000 grants

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is open with grants of up to £50,000 available for rural communities.

Funding is available for rural initiatives that benefit communities – such as projects involving village shops, pubs and the delivery of other important services.

Innovation Vouchers

Innovation Vouchers worth up to £5,000 can be used to pay for an external expert to help your business grow.

The Fiver Challenge

Last but not least this years “Fiver Challenge” has been launched for young people aged 5 – 11 years, across the UK and aims to inspire creativity and develop enterprising attitudes and behaviours by providing a highly interactive, fun way of introducing financial literacy, resilience and teamwork in learning for primary school pupils.

Science and Society Programme

The Public Engagement Small Awards Scheme provides funds for small, local or ‘pilot’ projects promoting STFC science and technology. Anyone can apply, including grant-funded research groups, STFC research facility users, schools, museums, etc. The deadline for applications is: 28th April 2016

Student Loans

From April 2016 there will be 2 student loan plan types which will be known as Plan 1 and Plan 2. Each plan will have a different threshold. We will need to deduct student loan repayments using the appropriate plan type.

Zero Rate Employer Class 1 NICs for apprentices under the age of 25

If you employ an apprentice who is under the age of 25, from 6 April 2016 you may no longer have to pay employer Class 1 NICs on their earnings up to the new Apprentice Upper Secondary Threshold, which will be £43,000 a year for the tax year beginning 6 April 2016.

End of contracted out NICs

Contracting out of the additional State Pension on a defined benefit (DB) base ended on 5 April 2016. Any employers who have benefited from paying a reduced rate of employers’ national insurance will pay the full 13.8% from 6 April 2016.

Increase in Employment Allowance to £3,000

If you are an eligible employer, you can reduce the amount of employer NICs you pay by up to £2,000 per year through the Employment Allowance.

Introduction of Living Wage – £7.20 for employees age 25 and over

On 1 April 2016 the National Living Wage will become law.
The Government is encouraging employers to prepare early for the changes and make sure they follow these four simple steps