Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise has pledged support for new enterprises in Caerphilly – for the fifth year in a row.
The Business Start-Up programme, funded jointly by Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise and Caerphilly County Borough Council, has provided start-up grants to 64 businesses and created 79 jobs since its launch in 2014.
The scheme has a high success rate with 86% of start-ups trading two years after launching.
Recent start-ups include a ‘cat hotel’, a men’s clothing merchandiser, a web design and photography business and a hair stylist, and many other new ventures.
Martin Palmer of UK Steel Enterprise, said he was delighted with the results, and with its potential to unleash the spirit of enterprise in the county. “The programme goes from strength to strength and we are very pleased to work with Caerphilly County Borough Council to help new businesses get off the ground.
“It is vital that these businesses get help at the right time to turn ideas into reality. This is good for businesses involved and in the wider context of economic development.”
Craig Harris who runs website and photography company Chevaline, specialising in working with the food industry, is one of the latest entrepreneurs to take advantage of the scheme. “I was able to buy photographic equipment to help me with my work with restaurants in South Wales. The scheme has been very helpful.”
Activemen Clothing was launched by Dayle Parfitt. The firm is an online retailer offering an outlet for brands unable to get onto the high street.
“There are many excellent brands that can’t get into the large high-street retailers due to exclusive rights, and are unable to open their own shops due to business rates and high rents,” said Dayle.
“Activemen Clothing sources high quality, new brands from around the world and sells them online.”
Upmarket Willowdell Cattery was recently opened in Llanbradach by former miner Gerald Nottingham with grant support from the scheme, and is thriving with strong support from the local community.
“The cattery is doing very well and we have a lot of bookings going forward,” commented Gerald.
In Oakdale husband and wife team Sean and Lynzi Price have been helped to set up Ghost Hair, offering the personal touch to a growing clientele in the area.
The salon is gaining a reputation for quality and service, said Sean. “We enjoy spending time looking after our guests and making sure they have a pleasant experience.”
Claire Vokes of Caerphilly County Borough Council said the Business Start-up programme continued to play an important role in launching new businesses.
The flexible scheme is designed to help residents of Caerphilly county borough set up a full-time business for the first time, if they are not able to access any other source of funding. The funding is a discretionary grant and can provide up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of £500.
Business start-ups from all business sectors are considered, provided the business is based in Caerphilly county borough. Eligible costs can include; capital equipment, ICT equipment, development of websites, marketing and building works within the business premises.
Caerphilly Council Cabinet Member responsible for the Economy, Sean Morgan said he was pleased to see the funding continue. “It has been very helpful in stimulating the local economy and has created a significant number of jobs, as well as adding to the services available in the community. We are very happy to give our continued support to the scheme.”
For further information on the start-up grant scheme and how to apply please contact the Business Support Team on 01443 866220 or email: [email protected]