Training and Courses on Exmoor

Education & Courses

Introducing Exmoor's Dark Skies to your Tourism Businesses

Watch the recording (link below) to get the background to the Exmoor International Dark Sky Reserve, available dark skies resources, the Dark Skies Festival and the Dark Sky Friendly Business accreditation scheme. Richard Darn from Go Stargazing talks about why Exmoor’s skies are special and the opportunities available in astro tourism. Recording at

Tuesday March 15th 11am Online – Session 1 with ‘Go Stargazing’ – Neill Sanders and Richard Darn

Light pollution, why dark skies matter, astro-tourism opportunities, marketing ideas and introduction to basic astronomy equipment to help you and your guests.

Tuesday March 29th 11am Online – Session 2 with ‘Go Stargazing’ & Jo Richardson

Introduction to practical stargazing – using Apps for stargazing , when and how to find objects in the sky including how to navigate between constellations, spotting the milky way and finding binocular objects. Introduction to local astronomer Jo Richardson who will be taking further online and in-person sessions on Exmoor throughout the year.

Tuesday 12th April 6.30pm-9ish Live Training Event at Horner Farm, nr Porlock, Exmoor  TA24 8HY

Our first Live Practical session with astronomer Jo Richardson. A semi-indoor presentation covering what’s in the Spring Sky followed by an outdoor practical stargazing session, using naked eye, binoculars and telescopes including set up etc. (clear skies permitting)

Interested in learning more? Contact Katrina Munro at Exmoor National Park on

Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership FREE Digital Online Webinars

Let’s talk about the ‘BOOST’ Tourism Toolkit!

We’re back with a new series of six online digital webinars helping you uncover the ‘BOOST’ Tourism Toolkit, an online resource packed with straightforward information and advice for businesses within the visitor economy. However, this time we want YOU to drive the agenda! Submit your problems, any issues or areas you want to see covered and we’ll tailor the session to help you and your business.

In each 2-hour session we’ll be taking a quick look at how the ‘BOOST’ Toolkit can help before providing a free-form discussion clinic so we can address the issues that affect you directly! That means you get the chance to think about implementing the tools for your own business and loads of extra tips and ideas too! So even if you joined us last time this series is a must as these sessions are different so we can support your business further.

Following the session there is an opportunity for 1-2-1 support so you can dive deeper into the areas that interest or affect you most, as well as access to resources and other specialist business support. So why not come along, get involved and see how the toolkit can help your business?

Spaces are limited, so please register early by signing up to all the sessions in this series. Please find description and booking links to each of the six tailored modules below.

These sessions are been funded by the Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership (HTAP) for businesses within the visitor economy of the HTAP area, covering Somerset West and Taunton and Sedgemoor District areas.

The last session – 

6. Let’s Talk About Growing our sales sustainably – Tuesday 5th April 2022 at 10:30am 

For our final session we’ll be looking forward to the future as we address the question “what next”? If you are planning a new product, thinking of expanding what you do, want to make more of what’s around you or are simply looking at ways to future-proof your business then why not join us?

Registration Link:

Want your business to THRIVE?

Thrive is here to support you to make your business the best it can be. Whether you are looking for ways to increase your turnover, grow your business or just do things more efficiently so that you can spend more time on the things you enjoy doing, Thrive can help.

If you are a sole trader, micro business or limited company in Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Somerset (excluding BANES), contact us now to see if you are eligible to access four modules of business advice, support and training. Funding from the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) means this is completely free to eligible businesses in the Heart of the South West area.

We know that the needs of a sole trader working from home will be different from a SME with premises and staff to manage. As a business owner, you will have specific strengths and areas you would like to improve. Thrive is a bespoke service using specialist advisors who will work with you to identify what would most help your business.

You will be able to access four modules of support with each module lasting for 3 hours. Your four modules (or 12 hours in total) can be made up of a combination of the following to suit your needs:

• A 3-hour review meeting leading to a development plan for your business
• 1-2-1 sessions focusing on your particular needs
• Webinars on relevant business topics

Through Thrive, a business will typically receive one 1-2-1 session followed by attending several workshops and webinars. Sessions may be online (via Zoom, Teams or Skype) or in person at the discretion of the business advisor.

What will it cover?
Webinars and 1-2-1 sessions will cover a range of topics that will support your business and can include:

• Digital support, which aims to increase growth and business efficiency through digital means e.g. improving your website, SEO, how to make the most of social media, Google Analytics etc
• Leadership
• Finance
• Human Resources
• Innovation
• Marketing
• Business Planning
• Road to reopening

As part of this support package, you will also be signposted to external agencies, such as local and specialist business support organisations, training providers and trading standards.


Compliance & Customer Service Training

Somerset West and Taunton Council, West Coast 360 and Skill Up West Somerset are pleased to offer FREE training to employers, their staff and anyone interested in working in the hospitality and leisure industry. These courses are for West Somerset residents whether you are returning to work after furlough, wishing to gain more skills or looking to start a career in this sector. 

To register for these courses please follow the links:

Princes Countryside Fund

Free 1-2-1 digital mentoring support for farming businesses. The support is to help you understand the benefits of digital, introduce you to new software, apps and hardware and help you become more efficient and less fearful of future technology.

Support topics, depending on individual needs, could include:

– Basic Payment Scheme Support

– Benefits of Cloud

– Google Hangouts and Skype

– Using Social Media

– Connectivity: How it can be improved, costs and best price

Farming businesses based in Dartmoor or Exmoor.

Pub is The Hub

Inspired by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 2001, Pub is The Hub operates as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation dedicated to improving community services and activities. We offer advice and support to communities who are looking to relocate, re-open or introduce vital services and activities in their local pub, as well as to communities considering the options for acquiring their local pub and the range of responsibilities involved.

We facilitate projects by encouraging and helping communities, pub licensees and other interested parties to connect and share their experiences and work together to support and sustain their local services. We also try to help source local funding opportunities for projects.

Read: Pub is The Hub: New research highlights the social value publicans and pubs create by providing local services

Heart of the South West Growth Hub

Growth Hub Farming & Food Business Resilience Support. Fully funded one to one advice session with a Business Adviser providing you with an opportunity to speak to an expert adviser about your ambitions. 

This service provides support to farming, farm diversification and food processing businesses with support to help them to build resilience into their businesses and help them to be better able to adapt and respond to changing circumstances such as impacts of EU exit, changes to agricultural support and any other external factors that present challenges and opportunities to the business.

HM Government: Help to Grow

Take your business to the next level with the Government’s new Help to Grow programme. The programme offers two distinct packages delivered through online learning platforms, 1:1 sessions with mentors and a peer network. The Help to Grow programme aims to support small and medium sized businesses to learn new skills, reach customers and boost profits.

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW)

Funded training to help your business progress – Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in the Heart of the South West LEP area; Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. They provide recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance your employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of your business and boost the local economy. SSW is co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund.


The SMART SKILLS programme is funded by the European Social Fund and will help businesses across Devon to upskill their staff and advance their business to the next level with a range of no-cost training solutions. We want to ensure as many local businesses as possible are aware of the valuable, fully funded training available to them, especially as we bounce back from Covid-19.

Step Up Somerset

A co-ordinated network of employment and skills support for individuals, employers and businesses seeking support and information in relation to employment, skills, careers and apprenticeships is being rolled out across Somerset under the Step Up Somerset brand to boost existing provision in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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