Local firms are celebrating after securing grants totalling £571,000 – many thanks to a free Derbyshire Dales business advice programme.
Derbyshire Dales District Council's business advice service supported 20 businesses through the application process to the Global Derbyshire programme.
Created three years ago, the free independent Derbyshire Dales Business Advice service provides face to face support for businesses in the Dales wanting to grow – and has now assisted over 450 established and new start businesses, helping to create 275 new jobs.
District Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE said:
"I am delighted our investment in Derbyshire Dales Business Advice is reaping rewards, with a string of successful applications for cash to the Derbyshire Economic Partnership.
"The range of businesses helped is massive – from a creamery in Cressbrook and an MOT centre in Bakewell to an industrial water equipment supplier in Matlock and a Calver engineering business. We are here to help and encourage local firms to get in touch."
Ashford in the Water company Brock & Morten, which started trading only two years ago and specialises in high quality locally produced cold pressed rape seed oil, has been offered a £25,000 grant towards expansion plans.
Professional business adviser Heather Bradford, who runs Derbyshire Dales Business Advice, said:
"I was delighted to support Brock & Morten, both at the pre-start stage and setup, and to give advice with the Global Derbyshire application and the company's business plan.
"This local business started initially as a part-time activity as an opportunity to make better use and return from the rape seed grown on the family farm. They identified a gap in the market for an adaptable product with good health benefits.
"A great deal of time and financial investment was spent developing the branding of the product and researching the market. Initially sales were through food fairs and markets, and the product has taken off so well that further ranges have been developed and the product is now stocked in some high profile retail stores, including Chatsworth Farm Shop."
Owner Kate Brocklehurst said:
"I can honestly say that without Heather's guidance Brock & Morten wouldn't be where we are today. The service was first class and I have no hesitation in recommending any would-be entrepreneur to take this route."
Further north, Wadsworth Design is a new start-up company based in Bradwell, manufacturing and retailing high end stone products for the landscaping and home industry.
Said Heather: "The company also plans to sell premium landscaping products and Derbyshire Dales Business Advice was able to help with a business plan and a successful application for a £15,000 set-up grant from Global Derbyshire."
It's not only new businesses that are getting a helping hand. Tideswell haulage transport business RLT Ltd was created back in 1998, specialising in transport for bulk loads and tipper haulage.
Said Heather: "As the construction industry recovers from recession, demand for RLT's services is exceeding capacity. So the company spoke to me about expanding their fleet of specialist trucks and trailers and employing additional staff - and we managed to get a grant offer of £37,000 from Global Derbyshire."
Although the Global Derbyshire Programme has now closed, Derbyshire Dales businesses wanting support and advice on future funding opportunities can complete an online enquiry form. Priority is given to businesses with growth potential.
- The Global Derbyshire programme was run by Derbyshire Economic Partnership, managed by Derbyshire County Council, with grants of up to £75,000 available thanks to a £3m Government grant to help small businesses in Derbyshire to grow and create jobs.