Council celebrates business grant success

Date: 15/09/14

A flagship start-up grant scheme has driven down city centre vacancy rates and created new jobs, according to Wakefield Council.

30 businesses in the Wakefield district have benefitted from the Small Business Grant Scheme since February 2013.

The scheme, which has reduced town centre vacancy rates by nearly 15%, provides a start-up loan of £2,000 to local businesses to help them begin trading. This financial support has so far resulted in 38 job opportunities from the 15 new businesses which have so far benefitted from the scheme. Of these 22 are full time posts, 15 are part time posts and 1 is an apprenticeship opportunity.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Deputy Leader of Wakefield Council said: "We are thrilled at these figures which show the significant impact of this vital business grant and the boost to the economy this provides.

"We continue to support local businesses and are constantly working to ensure they continue to thrive in these tough economic challenges."
India Coco – British children's wear retailer was one of the recent businesses who has successfully secured a business grant scheme.

Claire Harper, founder of India Coco said: "The business grant scheme has been a fantastic support to help launch our retail brand and allowed us to make our first store operational and ready for trading in a short space of time.

"We have initially negotiated a flexible lease and while we are trading at Wood Street we will also be focusing on expanding other areas of the business too, including the online offering and our baby and gifting presence at award winning, Blacker Hall Farm."

The Business Grant Scheme was launched in February 2013 with the Council working in partnership with the Wakefield City Centre Partnership who established the Town Team Small Business Grant Scheme for Wakefield City Centre. The scheme was a direct response to 20% of units vacant at the time in the city centre. The scheme remains opens until 30th September.

Applicants interested in applying should contact Andrew Woodhead, City Centre manager at Wakefield Council on 01924 304962.