The first new businesses have opened using funding from Trafford Council’s innovative Town Centres Business Growth Programme which launched in the summer.
The programme allows businesses to borrow up to £20,000 to set up in Altrincham, Sale, Stretford of Urmston town centres, or access some extra cash for training or marketing.
Get Chucked, a burger joint, began trading in Urmston since opening as a pop up but after borrowing £20,000 from the Council’s programme, it has now moved and expanded into larger premises on Flixton Road offering an enhanced menu and a range of beers and wines
Owner, Scott Power, said: “As a relatively new business, the Town Centres Business Growth Programme has enabled us to secure the funding necessary to transform a virtually derelict, prominent building in the heart of Urmston into an amazing space to eat and drink. We had outgrown our previous site and the loan has given us the opportunity to further grow the business without moving away from area as we have built up a great, loyal customer base. We are now in the process of scaling up from an intimate 26 cover burger bar on a back street to a 78 cover proper restaurant on the high street.”
Gift and Home in Altrincham, which stocks a range of gifts for the whole family, also borrowed £20,000 through the scheme. The shop began trading in Hale Village and has now expanded its operation to George Street.
Owner, Louise Duerr, said: “As a small business securing funding to expand is not easy and as such the loan from Trafford was a godsend, enabling me to open a second shop in my ideal location of Altrincham which is now growing into a vibrant and exciting destination. Without this funding I would have struggled to raise the amount needed to proceed with the project which I am now pleased to say is open for business!"
Finally, Blanchflower, a new bakery and restaurant on Shaws Road, has been opened by Claire Howells with help from the Business Growth Programme.
She said: “In our case, the £20,000 loan was part of much bigger round of funding but that should not lead anyone to underestimate its importance. Having the support of Trafford Council helped us solidify the support of other investors, partly by illustrating the Council’s continuing support to the regeneration of our shared urban spaces.”
Since the launch of the original town centres loan scheme in 2013 that offered up to £10,000 to encourage businesses to occupy vacant units, 32 businesses have been helped to get up and running. Not only this; 148 jobs have been created and it is estimated that over £1.4m of private investment has been levered into town centres as a direct result of these openings.
Now, following the success of this scheme, the Council has increased the loan offer for businesses occupying vacant units and including new loan opportunities to help fund marketing or training costs.
The loan fund offers up to £20,000 to businesses who will bring vacant ground floor premises back into use; up to £5,000 to help promote and market a business and ensure that it remains competitive; and up to £1,000 to help a business to upskill or improve customer care.
Executive Councillor for Housing and Strategic Planning, Cllr David Hopps said: “We are committed to supporting our town centres and enabling them to thrive. This Council has already helped 32 businesses to open with loans in excess of £340,000 and our town centres are once again thriving following the recession. The offering of loans allows the repaid funding to be reinvested in the town centres, maximising the Council’s investment.
The vacancy rate across Trafford’s town centres has fallen by 11 per cent and empty units are being snapped up – with many new openings being a direct result of Trafford Council’s support and investment.
We are currently investing heavily in improving the look, feel and flow of Altrincham and Stretford Town Centres; ploughing millions of pounds into regeneration works. We have a dedicated Town Centres Team which acts as the first point of contact to assist businesses and investors and a dedicated Start-Up Advisor and Business Growth Advisor to provide specialist one-on-one support.”
Posted on Friday 9th February 2018