TWO new businesses are up and running in Lurgan thanks to Craigavon Borough Council’s ‘Meanwhile in Craigavon...’ scheme.
Local businessman Robert Coleman has opened his Twice is Nice shop on Church Walk, selling gently used nursery and children’s goods, toys and designer children’s clothes.
Meanwhile, Mark Savage has opened his Floored Design Studio business on Queen Street trading from March 25.
Both businesses get free tenancy for up to four months, including a set-up grant of £500 and a full year of business mentoring from Insight Business Consulting.
Mark (36) had always wanted to go it alone in business and he was given the push he needed when Fulton’s went into administration last July. Mark, who had been flooring manager at the long-established company, set up his own flooring business in the vacant Mid-Ulster Granite unit Queen Street, selling carpets, wooden floors, rugs and antico to meet a range of budgets.
Mark said: “The ‘Meanwhile’ programme was very important in helping me set up the business and I’m able to benefit from mentoring for a full year as well as the set-up grant which was invaluable.”
Councillor Paul Duffy Vice-Chairperson of the council’s Development Committee said: “This scheme has the potential to deliver jobs and breathe new life into the economic activity of the borough.
“I encourage anyone with a strong business idea to come forward and get the help on offer. I want to wish the new businesses who have already taken advantage of the ‘Meanwhile in Craigavon...’ the best of luck for the future.”
More units are still up for grabs in this second phase of the ‘Meanwhile...’ scheme and potential tenants are being urged to get in touch. It is supported by local Chambers of Commerce and Groundwork NI.
Madeleine Kelly from Groundwork NI said: “We want to help any type of business – a start-up, a social economy project, a community initiative or even an existing business keen to expand.
“A range of currently unused units of all sizes have been identified and we want to get these filled quickly, as we know it will boost job opportunities in the area and bring footfall to our town centres.”
If you think you have a business idea or a project which fits the bill contact Madeleine Kelly at Groundwork NI by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 9074 9494.