Aiming to heat up local business; Airdrie is first to see business incubator founded

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 10:18 on 17 September 2013.
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TCA Ltd founded the Airdrie facility.
 




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IN A bid to augment economic activity and encourage more employment across North Lanarkshire, Town Centre Activities Ltd have set up a new business incubator in the North Lanarkshire town of Airdrie.

As part of the project, businesses new and young were invited to apply for part of the premises, in a project which will see support worth tens of thousands of pounds given to each business, to bolster business, economic and social growth, in North Lanarkshire.

The ‘Starting Point’ project is an innovative scheme launched by Town Centre Activities Ltd, an arms’ length regeneration company, set up and supported by North Lanarkshire Council, to run activities and improve town centres across the area.

Located in a prime, central location, in Airdrie’s high-street style town centre, the incubator is planned to open later this year, and will offer new and fledgling businesses premises, services, business development advice and marketing support.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses who want to make a start in a town centre location,” David Fagan, chairman of Town Centre Activities and North Lanarkshire Council's convener of regeneration, said.

He added: “It could be that a young business is running from home and keen to develop further, or it could be that someone has a great business idea but needs advice and support to get started.

"Whichever it is, Starting Point can supply all the support needed to help that business grow and fulfil its potential."

Starting Point has converted the Airdrie town centre unit, opposite the new state-of-the-art Airdrie Medical Centre, into areas which will accommodate 6 to 8 businesses.

Working closely with Lanarkshire colleges, Business Gateway and Town Centre Activities, Starting Point will ensure each business will receive business plan support, financial planning support, Customer Service training, marketing training, merchandising support, e-commerce training, HR advice and support, and business management advice.

Emma Walker, managing director of Town Centre Activities, added: "There are other business incubators out there, but Starting Point is a bit different. Not only can we help new and fledgling businesses reach their full potential, we're also able to offer a town centre location that allows these businesses to test new markets and hone their visual merchandising and retail skills at a low cost and low risk to their business. By doing it in this way we can also contribute to the regeneration of a town centre with all the employment and social benefits that can bring.

"But time's running out for anyone who wants to take advantage of this amazing offer. Applications will close soon and anyone interested in taking part should contact us as soon as possible. The application form can be filled in online at www.startingpoint.org.uk, or people can contact us with any questions or to find out more on 01236 638916."

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