£10k grants boost to fill empty units in struggling North Wales high streets

EMPTY premises in hard-hit North Wales high streets could soon be filled thanks to an innovative grant scheme.

Up to £10,000 funding packages are available through the Welsh Government Town Centre Entrepreneurship Fund for entrepreneurs who are keen to open a business in Wrexham, Bangor, Rhyl, or Colwyn Bay.

The Town Centre Miwtini start-up programme – a collaboration between Enterprise Hub @M-SParc and Wrexham Enterprise Hub – wants to hear from interested parties with business ideas that could lead to them occupying a unit in one of the struggling retail districts.

One-day courses will be held on each of the following dates with key information on themes including guidance on the fund, lease guidance, finance, marketing, customer service, and Smart Towns, urban areas that use different electronic methods and sensors to collect data, which in turn is used to shape decision-making and manage services and resources more efficiently.

A recent report by the Welsh Retail Consortium revealed nearly one in five shops in Wales is empty and the country has the second highest vacancy rate of any UK region behind the North East of England (20.6%).

Enterprise Hub Manager Sara Roberts said this is a great opportunity for anyone with an idea for a venture and looking for commercial premises to take it to the next level and reverse this national trend.

“We would encourage people to capitalise on this funding, especially anyone who has started a new business from home in lockdown,” she said.

“We want to help breathe life into the high streets of Wrexham, Bangor, Rhyl and Colwyn Bay as like other town centres nationally they have struggled with the challenges of the pandemic and the rise of online shopping – they need to bounce back.

“Miwtini will be on hand with support and advice on a range of subjects to get you started, and these one-day courses will cover pivotal topics to lay the foundations for success.”

Sara added: “The packages could provide a spark for entrepreneurs to take their small business forward long-term, so please get in touch or attend one of the events to find out more.”

Backed by the European Regional Development Fund, the initiative forms part of the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme, which earlier this year released an additional £24m package of support to revitalise town centres and encourage companies to relocate to urban areas in a bid to bring derelict sites back to use.

For more information, visit www.hwbmenter.cymru/en/mutiny. Alternatively, call 01248 858070 or email post@hwbmenter.cymru.  The Enterprise Hub is part Funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

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