Eight more small businesses supported by Borough Council grants

Published: Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Eight more small businesses are presently reaping the benefits of Northampton Borough Council improvement grants.

And it means that the council, through its Business Incentive Scheme, has now committed almost £1 million to support 115 small businesses set up or expand.

One of the businesses to benefit is the Bewiched café in the Grosvenor Centre.

The café received a £10,000 vacant unit grant to take over premises in Princes Walk, creating eight jobs.
Owner Matt Fountain said: “The coffee shop is focussing on creating something better, something authentic and we want to challenge the ‘big boys’ by offering a better service and product. We were really clear that we wanted to look better than the competition.

“With an independent budget, we wanted to achieve a national-standard refit and the Business Incentive Scheme Grant was really helpful with that as it let us invest more, especially in the flooring and lighting. 

“It was pretty straightforward to apply for and I’m absolutely glad that we did. The grant is a big incentive and I’d definitely recommend it.”

The Dapper Sandwich Company this week opened its doors at 205 Wellingborough Road, having taken over the unit previously occupied by Dang’s restaurant.

Sarah Clarke, co-director of the Dapper Sandwich Company alongside her partner David Preston, is delighted that weeks of hard graft have finally come to fruition.

She said: “The renovation work has taken 12 weeks and we are delighted at the way everything has come together.
“During the work we discovered hidden Victorian panelling which is now a feature of the restaurant and the downstairs meeting room and working space, which will be opened shortly.

“Without the grant from the Business Incentive Scheme we wouldn’t have been able to do this – in fact we wouldn’t have been brave enough to do it because the whole process can be extremely daunting.”

The latest round of grants means that more than £5 million pounds of private sector investment has now been leveraged since the scheme started up three years ago. This is as a result of the council committing a total of £980,468 to 115 companies, creating 579 jobs in the process.

In the first nine months of this financial year alone, the council has supported 31 businesses, creating 253 jobs and being met with £1,332,968 of investment from the private companies involved.

The Business Incentive Scheme provides grants to small companies to help them take on a vacant unit, improve a shop front or create additional retail space within their existing unit.

Cllr Tim Hadland, Cabinet member for Planning, Environment and Regeneration, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. We set up this scheme to support business growth in Northampton, to fill empty units and to help create jobs and we have certainly achieved that.

“National surveys consistently point to the fact that Northampton is a great place to set up a business and we have a successful record of growth for small businesses. 

“It is a sign of confidence in our town that people are investing very large sums of their own money into these ventures.”

Anyone interested in the Business Incentive Scheme can find out more at northampton.gov.uk/bis

Businesses in Northampton that have benefitted from the latest round of grants are:
• Anna Health and Beauty, which has recently taken over the old Daniel Granger Unit at 29 Gold Street
• Frocks & Frillies, who have moved into Gold Street Mews
• Beauty Secret Spa Ltd, recently opened into 7 St Giles Terrace
• LG Café, which has taken over old café unit at 67 Abington Street
• The Zip Yard, recently moved into vacant unit at 30-32 St Giles Street
• Dapper Sandwich Company, just moved in at 205 Wellingborough Road
• Bewiched Café, opened at 36 Princes Walk (Grosvenor Centre)
• Sam’s Chicken, moved in to premises at 19 The Drapery