Find out about the support and advice available to businesses in the building and construction industry.

With a firm commitment by Government to boost house building across the UK, and proposals to deliver 29,000 homes by 2021 in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area alone, the construction and building industry needs to be ready to respond to this growing demand.

SME builders help to provide  greater diversification and more resilience in the market. They provide good quality homes which fit to local need. SMEs support the local labour force and supply chain, providing a multiplier effect within the local economy. Which is why the Signpost 2 Grow team are keen to help local SME builders to grow.

Help is at hand!

Our aim is to provide local support and assistance to SME builders who may not have the capacity or resources to research and access the best services and support available, to help maximise their growth potential and output.

The Signpost 2 Grow team are here to offer FREE support and advice to connect your business with the resources and advice you need to grow.  You can access the team via email, telephone or continue reading this page for further advice.

How we can help SME builders:

  • Advice is available for SME builders at any stage
  • Grants and loans are available to support growth
  • Signpost 2 Grow offers a FREE service to support new and growing builders.

There are other sources of information and advice available, although the list below is not exhaustive.

  • Planning

    Small Sites 

    Homes England annually publishes the list of public land sites that are, or are likely to be available for sale.

    Each site is either sold on the open market through traditional tender competition, or Homes England selects a developer for the site through its Deliver Partner Panel. Sites are also advertised for sale in the Office Journal of the European Union and in other property magazines.

    To find out more please visit our Public Land for Sale guidance page.

    Planning Portal 

    Planning Portal can take you through your pre-application process you need to be able to gain planning permission.


    To find out more please visit our Planning Portal page.

  • Business Support

    SMEs are vital for the growth of the UK economy, they make up to 99% of the private sector business in the UK, with a fifth of these operating in the construction sector.

    Not only do these firms have the ability to support economic growth in local areas, they also provide work for 15.6 million people in the UK each year.

    However, many small companies struggle to grow, as business owners can sometimes lack the management  and entrepreneurial skills to match their technical abilities.

    For example, a highly skilled roofer or cladding installer, who can put his or her hands to most trades on site, many struggle with Cash Flow forecasting, employment legislation sales pipeline management, purchasing and other essential business disciplines.

    There are many organisations that can provide business support and advice to help companies through this.

    Signpost 2 Grow Business  Support 

    At Signpost 2 Grow we can help you navigate through the maze of business support that is on offer. We provide up-to-date knowledge on regional and national business support schemes which saves you time and effort.

    To find out more about all the free advice we offer visit our How Can We Help page.

    Signpost 2 Skills 

    Signpost 2 Skills has been designed by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP to connect businesses, training and education providers to develop the workforce of the future.

    Businesses need an appropriately skilled workforce in order to grow, but there are clear recruitment gaps in the market.

    Young people do not know what opportunities are available locally and what skills may be required to access them. We therefore want our young people to have access to the information and advice they need in order to make positive choices to support our economy.

    To find out more visit our Young Entrepreneurs page.

    The Entrepreneurship Foundation 

    Set up by Saint-Gobain in association with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), The Entrepreneurship Foundation make a real contribution helping small businesses to grow and develop.

    The initiative provides free training, one-to-one mentoring and support to small construction firm. Training focuses business and management disciplines, as well as exploring the growth opportunities in sustainable  building techniques and products.

    Supporting over 200 growing businesses in the next five years that have the potential to employ thousands more people and grow successfully by accelerating small business growth, businesses will be able to meet the demands of an evolving, dynamic and innovative construction industry.

    To find out more please visit our Saint Gobain website.


    The support and funding they offer will help companies to improve skills, increase their competitiveness and respond to challenges such as the low carbon agenda, reducing costs on site and recruiting the best talent.

    To find out more please visit our CITB page.

    Regional College, other training and apprenticeship programmes. 

    Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have started their High Degree Apprenticeship scheme that provide relevant, cost effective work-based learning, that allows collaboration between employers, apprentices and the University.

    This scheme reduces graduate recruitment costs and develops the right skills you need in your workforce.

    To find out more please visit our Anglia Ruskin University page.

    West Anglia Training Association (WATA) offer a range of training and apprenticeship opportunities to those in the construction or engineering industry.

    Training in Engineering/Construction is a minimum duration of 2 months (100 hours of work experience). It is a short training programme  design to give skills and experience to progress to apprenticeship or to paid employment.

    The course allows you to improve your skills, build your confidence and experience working in an engineering/construction environment.

    Furthermore, there is a Construction Operations Intermediate Apprenticeship available for those who wish to pursue a career in construction. It is an 18-week course that is spread over 2 years and allows you to learn valuable skills like kerb laying, paving, laying and testing draining systems.

    Similarly, there is also a Higher Operations and Maintenance Intermediate Apprenticeship that covers Level 2 Construction Diploma Highway Maintenance and a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Construction Operations – perfect for those who want to pursue a career in construct or civil engineering.

    To find out more visit our WATA page.

    Peterborough Regional College offer a comprehensive range of courses within the construction sector. From introductory plumbing and construction to joinery and electrical installation PRC offers something for every part of the construction sector. There are also construction apprenticeships at both Level 2 and Level 3 so apprentices can both learn and refine their skills and knowledge.

    To find out more please visit our Peterborough Regional College Page.

    The Construction Industry Helpline

    The helpline provides  a 24/7 safety net for all construction workers and their families in the UK and Ireland. It is a charitable service funded by the industry for the industry and provides emergency financial aid to construction families mid crisis, advice on occupational health and mental well-being, as well as support on legal, tax and debt management matters.

    To find out more visit our Construction Industry Helpline page.



  • Utilities

    Better Connected 

    Better Connected is a practical guide to utilities for home builders. It sets out what developers and utilities companies should expect from each other when providing utilities to bring forward future development.

    To find out more visit our Better Connected page.

  • Finance

    Signpost 2 Grow Grant 

    We offer small capital grants from £1,000 up to £20,000 for SME’s looking to invest in new equipment, new machinery, improvements to their premises or other capital purchases.

    The grants can be used to fund up to 20% of a total project cost to provide businesses with the extra they need to grow.

    To find out more visit our Signpost 2 Grants page.

    Home Building Fund

    The Home Building Fund is a £3 billion fund designed to increase the number of homes built in England. It is open to those who are in the private sector business that builds new homes or prepares sites for housing developments.

    To find out more visit our Home Building Fund page.

    Housing Growth Fund 

    The Housing Growth Fund provides equity finance with Lloyds Banking Group to help address housing affordability by providing support to the regional residential development community to increase the number of homes built in the UK

    To find out more please visit our House Growth Fund page.

    BEECP (Business Energy Efficiency Cambridge & Peterborough)  

    BEECP offers up to three hours  of onsite review, concise report recommendations, indicative costs and pay back periods, follow up support by email or telephone, plus the potential for more detailed technical support and free, impartial, independent advice provided by Business Energy Efficiency advisors.

    To find out more visit our BEECP page.

    Innovation Bridge 

    Innovation Bridge offers up to 20 hours of free academic support to help develop an action plan developing a new product or service, access to specialist university expertise and grants with University of Bedfordshire, Anglia Ruskin University and University of Suffolk. It also offers access to a grant programme  between £1,000 and £15,000, covering up to 30% of the investment.

    To find out more about this three-year business support project visit our Innovation Page.

    KEEP+ (Knowledge Exchanged and Embed Partnerships) 

    KEEP+ is a European Regional Development Fund supported programme designed to support SME businesses to access knowledge and expertise through collaboration with the University sector.

    They provide your business with opportunities for innovation with a focus on  developing new products or services, increasing profitability, reducing costs, providing opportunities to collaborate and accessing graduate talent.

    To find out more visit our KEEP+ page.




  • Support for businesses affected by Carillion

    Local businesses affected by the collapse of Carillion are  being offered free help and support from a local business support organisation.

    Signpost 2 Grow is here to help business access the assistance they need to overcome any problems they face because of Carillion’s collapse, and help make sense of the resent advice issued by the Government.

    Financial Support 

    In recent news banks have launched a £225 million Carillion emergency fund. Between HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds they have created this fund to offer assistance to small businesses hit by the collapse.

    These measures will ensure that small businesses have the financial support needed to get them back on their feet.

    In addition, The British Business Bank has announced they are going to make an extra £100 million available through deliver partners in order to support businesses and their workers.

    This can be used to support overdraft borrowing and refinancing of existing, and is in addition to the support given from the emergency fund.

    Job support 

    Nationwide building society has said it will take in-house jobs which were performed by Carillion 250 staff members that were once employed by Carillion will now be under the direct employment of Nationwide, as well as 1,500 construction workers that were previously working on contracts.

    CITB – Apprenticeship support  

    CITB are taking  steps to secure the future of 1400 apprentices. They are currently devising an in-principle package of support including grants and apprenticeship transfer incentives to encourage construction employers to enable apprentices to join existing workforces.

    The project team will prioritise the retention and redevelopment of apprentices, as the skills and experience of these apprentices  are vital to the delivery of new homes and infrastructure, as well as the British economy.

    CITB have a dedicated phone number (0344 994 4010) and email address (, for those affected and are urged to contact them if you are a concerned employer or learner.

    They have a dedicated project team working on this and have set up a series of events on 18th and 19th February, with further details found here.