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Ben Allen of Wiltshire College, Kate Forrest and Andrea Bridgemanof TEN, and Haydn Earlof Wiltshire College celebrating TEN grant funding for a new 3D Enterprise Centre at the College Lackham campus

TEN announces £1m investment to help start-ups

The Enterprise Network has announced a £1 million scheme to support start-up businesses in Wiltshire.

TEN is supporting the opening or extension of  four new hubs at Lackham, Holt, Marlborough and Chisledon.

The hubs will complement TEN’s own Enterprise  Centres at Salisbury, Trowbrdige, Ludgershall and Royal Wootton Bassett.

The details of the investments are:

  • Wiltshire College has received just over £173,000 to help create a technology-focused hub offering 3D design and prototyping facilities for small businesses to use at its 3D Enterprise Centre at Lackham.
  • 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.
  • The owner of Elcot Park, Marlborough – George Estates LLP – will get £160,000 towards a £486,000 refurbishment project to provide incubation space for start-ups in a former industrial building on the site. The facilities are due to open in the New Year.
  • And Butts Business Centre, Chisledon 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 – a £5.2m initiative led by Wiltshire Council with Government and EU funding – successfully applied for the £1 million funding to develop these new facilities from Defra’s Rural Growth Network with support from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Fleur de Rhé-Philipe, Wiltshire’s Council’s cabinet member for economic development and chairwoman 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.”

  • Earlier this month, a new business hub for start-ups and small businesses was launched at Elcot Park, Marlborough by KFS Business Solutions. The capital grant to George Estates LLP is not connected with this venture, although Kate Forrest told Business Biscuit: “We are pleased to see any activities which support start-up and micro businesses in the rural areas of Swindon and Wiltshire.”