Enterprise flourishes in Caerphilly with UKSE support

Enterprise continues to flourish in Caerphilly with the support of the Business Start-up programme.

The programme, funded jointly by Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise and Caerphilly County Borough Council, has provided start-up grants to a wide range of new businesses.

Now in its fourth year, 49 businesses have been launched in Caerphilly, creating 58 jobs.

Recent start-ups include a business data company, a gardener, and two education-based companies.

Data Root Solutions of Caerphilly has been launched by former BT data manager Justine Williams. The firm provides high quality business-to-business information for marketing campaigns.

“We spend time talking to clients to make sure we understand what they are looking for, and drill down into the data to find exactly what they need. We can fulfil very specific requirements,” said Justine, who spent 24 years with BT.

A £500 grant from the start-up fund helped her set up her web site and buy other essentials. “It was very useful indeed and really helped us get started,” she added.

Brainstorm Education, run by Tom Burriss based in Blackwood, helps younger children appreciate the uses of iPads and other devices to enhance their digital learning, and also offers home tutoring.

“I help children develop their digital skills in learning apps and games such as Minecraft,” said Tom, a former IT teacher. Brainstorm Education received a grant of £500. 

Also in the field of learning is Panda Education, run by Ros Protheroe and Rachel Arnold. The firm received a £458 grant towards capital equipment and was launched earlier this year. The firm works with post-16 education providers offering consultancy, training and advice.

“We provide training to work based assessors and tutors in Wales to maximise the benefit of apprenticeships to employers,” said Ros.

The current emphasis on encouraging apprenticeships at larger employers, through the apprenticeship levy, is an important area in which Panda is keen to offer support and advice, she added.

Gardener Peter Thomas set up Cutting Edge Gardening Services after being made redundant, and says the £500 grant was vital in helping to buy a mower and other equipment. He operates in the Caerphilly County area and is also expanding into Cardiff.

Claire Vokes of Caerphilly County Borough Council said the Business Start-up programme continued to play an important role in getting new businesses off the ground. 

“There is a great deal of interest in the scheme,” she said. “While many of these firms might remain small, some may well go on to be major employers and job creators in the future.”

The flexible scheme is designed to help residents of Caerphilly county borough set up a full-time business for the first time, if they are not able to access any other source of funding. The funding is a discretionary grant and can provide up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of £500. 

Business start-ups from all business sectors may be considered, provided the business is based in Caerphilly county borough. Eligible costs can include; capital equipment, ICT equipment, development of websites, marketing and building works within the business premises.

UK Steel Enterprise has provided £5000 and this has been match-funded by the Council.

Martin Palmer of UK Steel Enterprise commented :”We are delighted to work with the Council to give a helping hand to people with a sound business idea. It is important to the local economy that grass-roots businesses come through and create jobs.”

For further information on the start-up grant scheme and how to apply please contact the Business Support Team on 01443 866220 or email: business@caerphilly.gov.uk





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