Local businesses boosted by innovation fund

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By Nailsea People | Friday, November 29, 2013, 16:02

A further nine projects will bring extra vitality to our high streets thanks to the North Somerset High Street Innovation Fund.

North Somerset Council is one of 100 local authorities across the country to receive £100,000 as part of a national scheme to help tackle the blight of empty shops.

An extremely competitive third and final round of funding from the North Somerset High Street Innovation Fund was completed at the beginning of November. The final £18,560 was awarded to nine projects across the area and a further five businesses were offered free one-to-one business support from the North Somerset Enterprise Agency.

The independent panel was particularly impressed by projects that were innovative, had a clear business plan and were well researched. Funding included support for two new start-up creative businesses in Nailsea, a dementia action project in Worle, specialist equipment for a café and creative space in Portishead, fit out for a new barber shop in Pill, expansion of a café in Weston-super-Mare as well as support for three businesses in Clevedon which will continue to strengthen the town's independent offer.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council's deputy leader and portfolio holder for economic development said: "In total this £100,000 grant allocation has enabled 32 projects to start up, expand, diversify and has supported events and initiatives that will offer vital support to neighbouring businesses.

"The funds have helped bring many empty shops back into use which not only helps that individual business but crucially it brings extra vitality to certain areas of the high street where footfall has declined."

There is still a small amount of funding available for free one-to-one diagnostic sessions for any existing or start-up businesses occupying a retail unit. These sessions are being delivered by the North Somerset Enterprise Agency. If you think your business could benefit from some independent advice or you are thinking of starting up on the high street and need some guidance then these diagnostic sessions and the existing three-day start up businesses course could help.

Contact the council's economic development team for more information by emailing business@n-somerset.gov.uk or call 01934 426 341.

Projects funded in the third round are:

Ewe Knit 20, Nailsea

Mandy’s Make Craft Café, Portishead

Partysmartys, Nailsea

Pill Barber Shop, Pill

The Food Market, Seeleys, Clevedon

Saunders Creative, Clevedon

Fresh n Tasty Bites, Weston-super-Mare

Fizz Framing, Clevedon

Home Instead Senior Care, Worle

​ - See more at: http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/News/Pages/Local-businesses-boosted-by-innovation-fund.aspx#sthash.FbSSKIVX.dpuf

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