Budding entrepreneurs in Wrexham and Rhyl are being encouraged to access support and funding opportunities from community enterprise hubs in a bid to boost local economies.
Town Square Spaces Ltd (TownSq) is providing fully-funded coworking and business development packages worth up to £5,000, which includes a full-time workspace, event and meeting room access, admin support and specialist business mentorship including support programmes such as StartUp Club. The support will also enable members to access the Town Centre Entrepreneurship Fund grant of up to £10,000.
The comprehensive support can be accessed from Costigan’s Coworking in Rhyl or the Wrexham Enterprise Hub, where successful applicants will be able to base themselves as they build their business.
Wrexham and Rhyl’s town centres have suffered from reduced footfall and changes in shopping habits since the Covid-19 outbreak, however, pre-pandemic figures also indicated a decline with 16.8% of commercial properties on the Welsh high street unoccupied as of 2018.
The campaign hopes to inspire a host of new and exciting businesses to fill the growing number of vacancies and trade within Wrexham and Rhyl’s local communities, transforming the high street as big brands depart and independent retailers are championed.
The scheme comes alongside the launch of the Town Centre Entrepreneurship Fund, which will see Business Wales invest £3m into Rhyl, Wrexham, Bangor and Colwyn Bay to encourage new businesses to get up and running and consider their local town centre as a base.
Community staff at the TownSq hubs can assist applicants in accessing the government funding as well as advise on and facilitate the exclusive packages available which seek to promote the growth of North Wales-based ventures.
Owain Colwell, Community Manager at Costigan’s Coworking, said: “It’s fantastic to get some support for North Wales businesses and this funding has the potential to make a huge difference, both to early-stage entrepreneurs who have recently started out and for the local communities who will both support them and feel the benefit of a rejuvenated town centre.
“We’re seeing a lot of big high street chains going exclusively online and town centres have dwindled slightly as a result. However, this gives small businesses and entrepreneurs the perfect opportunity to reclaim their local high street and revitalise it, restoring that sense of community that characterises the British town centre.
“Costigan’s has already seen lots of up-and-coming business people achieve success in Rhyl as members of the coworking space, and we really hope that any funding applicants who take advantage of our facilities and support will get the extra push in the right direction to grow their business and establish themselves within a flourishing local community.”
The Business Wales funding will be available as a discretionary grant of between £2,500 and £10,000 per business to cover startup or relocation costs and applicants will be guided through the application process by a designated Business Advisor. Whilst applicants will need to meet certain criteria, there are no exclusions for having previously received financial support from government or local authorities.