Building skills for a circular economy. European Union - European Social Fund


Arca. Italian for ark. Building skills for the circular economy.

Led by the University of Exeter Business School, working in partnership with Truro & Penwith College, from 2021 – 2023 Arca supported over 160 businesses and 370 individuals in their transition to the circular economy.

Our workshops and training programmes were aimed at SMEs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We combined the latest business research with the hands-on experience of local entrepreneurs to deliver practical and engaging training programmes.

The project was part-funded through the European Social Fund (part of the European Strategic Investment Framework for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly).

About Arca

Celebrating the legacy of the Arca project

Since 2021 the Arca Project has supported 160 Cornish SMEs and 370 individuals regionally, nationally, and internationally to understand and implement the circular economy business skills and workforce development needed to build the viable, sustainable, circular business of the future.

As the project draws to a close in 2023, we would like to invite you to join us to celebrate the legacy of the project, showcase successes, and introduce you and your business to future skills development programmes in Cornwall and beyond.

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What is the circular economy?

The circular economy is a practical solution to global grand challenges of the 21st Century: climate change, biodiversity loss and resource scarcity. 

Traditional business models focus on taking raw materials from the Earth, making a product, and eventually throwing that product away as waste. This linear model is known as the ‘take-make-waste’ system. The circular economy offers a fresh approach that seeks to eliminate waste, circulate products, regenerate nature and deliver social justice.

From cubes that regenerate marine habitats to refurbished vintage light fittings to sunglasses designed from ghost fishing nets, the circular economy is gaining momentum. 

It is relevant to every business, and it is thriving here in Cornwall.

Our Training Programmes

Truro & Penwith College

Action Learning Networks

Be part of a programme creating a series of Action Learning Networks. Designed to help build local connectivity and strong links within the business community, each network will be made up of eight members and will be, led by an experienced facilitator, meeting monthly for 2-3-hour sessions.

Six sessions scheduled over six months, accessed online

Register interest!

Provide your email below to register interest and we can provide more information about this course.

Truro & Penwith College

Bespoke Leadership & Management Development Programmes

Working in collaboration with our experienced leadership & management development team, these bespoke programmes allow the design, development, and delivery of customised programmes to meet your specific organisational goals.


Register interest!

Provide your email below to register interest and we can provide more information about this course.

Truro & Penwith College

Change Management Workshop

Exploring the benefits of change and innovation, this course identifies potential barriers to introducing change and delivers practical options for overcoming them. Suitable for all managers and business leaders who need to support their teams through change.

Two-day in person workshop
- OR -
4 x 2-hour online sessions

Secure your place!

This course is open to bookings, follow the link below to book your place.

Book Now

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What We Offer

Cutting Edge Knowledge

Arca is led by academics at the University of Exeter Business School, based on our Penryn Campus, so you'll have access to the latest knowledge around the circular economy.

Engaging & Relevant

Our training programmes are designed and delivered by highly experienced teachers and trainers, who translate academic knowledge into bite size activities relevant to your business.

Local Networking

A key benefit of our in person events and training programmes is that you get to work alongside others who are on a similar journey: share ideas, get inspired and create collaborations across sectors.

A Global Community

From Bristol to Brazil, Switzerland to South Africa, Vietnam to Vienna - wherever you're based, you're welcome to get involved in our online training programmes. Join a global community!

The Arca project has now closed.

Thank you for your support and engagement over the last two years. We hope that this is just the beginning of your circular journey.


To further explore the Circular Economy in Cornwall and beyond:

Part funded through the European Social Fund (part of the European Strategic Investment Framework) for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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