£10,000 government boost to help new businesses set up in Rugby town centre

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RUGBY’S Town Team has received a welcome boost from government with the award of £10,000 that will be used to help new businesses set up in the town centre.

The town team, led by Rugby First and Rugby Borough Council, were nominated to become Town Team Partners by Mark Pawsey MP, following a recent application to be a ‘Portas Pilot’.

Winning the status means that the team will have access to specialist support, as well as the extra cash.

The money will be offered to new independent businesses that open in the town centre, boosting the council’s moving-in grant from £3000 to £5000 each. The grant scheme was recently awarded the Federation of Small Business’ award for best small business friendly programme or campaign, in recognition of its value to the town centre economy.

Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby, said: “I am delighted that Rugby has been successful in its’ application for extra support and funding. I am very supportive of our local Town Team, and will look forward to working with them to deliver their vision in revitalising the town centre. In particular, I hope that this additional incentive will help to encourage new independent retailers to take up retail units in Rugby.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for planning, development and culture, said: “Rugby has always advocated a partnership approach to town centre development, and was one of the first towns to put together a town team. This extra cash will top up our award-winning moving in grants so new businesses will have additional support in the crucial first few months of trading.”

Aftab Gaffar, Operations Director for Rugby First, said: “We were unsuccessful in our first two applications, but I am delighted that we have now received £10,000 from the Portas Pilot fund to help towards putting some of our plans into action. The Money will be used in our Retail Start up scheme supplementing the existing grant to hopefully encourage new entrepreneurs who want to take up a vacant shop in the town.”

Entrepreneurs interested in applying for a moving-in grant can contact the borough council’s economic development officer on (01788) 533734.