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Major Grants Help Rural Business Centres Across Swindon & Wiltshire

Rural business centres get grants to welcome more business start-ups across Swindon and Wiltshire

The Enterprise Network (TEN) has announced major grants to help existing rural business centres across Swindon and Wiltshire expand to support start-ups.

TEN, a £5.2m initiative led by Wiltshire Council with Government and EU funding, is nurturing new and growing small and micro businesses by supporting them right from the first 'light bulb' moment. It has already opened four of its own Enterprise Centres in Wiltshire offering affordable offices, meeting rooms, co-working and networking opportunities alongside free, impartial, business advice.

Now TEN is investing £1million to help other rural business centres at Lackham, Holt, Marlborough and Chisledon develop their own facilities for start-up rural businesses.

  • Wiltshire College 3D Enterprise Centre at its Lackham Campus has received just over £173,000 to help create a technology-focused hub offering 3D design and prototyping facilities for small businesses to use
  • The Glove Factory, Holt near Trowbridge will receive almost £160,000 to extend its site to create offices for 20 start-up and growing small businesses
  • Elcot Park, Marlborough will use its £160,000 grant to provide incubation space for start-ups within the development of the existing business park
  • Butts Business Centre, Chiseldon will expand to include two additional light industrial units and an office for hot-desking, using its £106,000+ grant

Other plans still in the pipeline include the creation of a retail enterprise centre in part of the Shambles Market building in Devizes and the conversion of part of the Old School at the new Tisbury community campus into a business incubation space for start-up and growing small businesses.

Kate Forrest, Manager of The Enterprise Network said: "This is an exciting time for start-up and growing small rural businesses in Wiltshire and Swindon as TEN is helping create more and more facilities tailored to their specific needs, supporting them to get off the ground, and grow.

"Larger businesses are well catered for in the towns and cities of the region, but we know that the vast majority of local businesses are small concerns – with big ideas. They need help and support to realise their full potential, and TEN is happy to be right at the heart of this."

TEN successfully applied for the £1million funding to develop these new facilities from Defra's Rural Growth Network with support from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Cllr Fleur de Rhé-Philipe, chair of The Enterprise Network's Advisory Board said: "This investment will provide even more opportunities for small businesses to grow in Wiltshire. We have to do everything we can to support smaller businesses and we will continue to look at innovative ways to help them prosper and be successful."

 

3D Enterprise Centre at Lackham Campus

Picture shows, L-R, Ben Allen, Vice Principal Business Development Wiltshire College; Kate Forrest, TEN Manager; Andrea Bridgeman, TEN Development Officer and Haydn Earl, Project Manager Wiltshire College celebrating TEN grant funding for a new 3D Enterprise Centre at the College's Lackham campus

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