A scheme to help new businesses move into Middlesbrough town centre is beginning to see success.
Shabby chic store Baytree Interiors has become one of the first to take advantage of a variety of offers available which aim to create a more diverse retail and leisure offer.
The shop, which is the biggest of the company’s nine outlets across the Yorkshire area, has been helped by Middlesbrough Council’s Empty Shop Refit scheme.
The programme offers financial assistance of up to £5,000 to retailers who occupy an empty town centre unit in one of the eligible areas and meet the relevant criteria to help with fixtures, fittings, security, signage and refurbishment costs.
Middlesbrough’s Deputy Mayor Charlie Rooney, pictured (above) with Baytree store are manager Kerry Herriott, said: “We all want to see a thriving town centre with a wide variety of shops and leisure outlets.
“This scheme is designed to encourage business into Middlesbrough and to then help them hit the ground running.
“Baytree Interiors is a hugely welcome addition to the town centre and I hope others take advantage of the help we can offer.
“Middlesbrough is a great place to do business – with a 30,000-plus student population, upwards of £500m of investment in housing, education and leisure and great transport links, now is a great time to be running a business in Middlesbrough.”
Jacqui Buteux, Retail Area Manager for Baytree Interiors, said: “We were very excited about opening our new shop in Middlesbrough in June after receiving a Council Empty Shop Refit grant which helped to make the shop the luxurious environment it is today.
“Trading in Middlesbrough has exceeded our initial expectations and we hope to continue this going forward.”
The incentives available to business start-ups, new businesses to Middlesbrough and existing businesses looking to expand are Small Business Rate Relief, Retail Relief, Business Rates Reoccupation Relief, Business Rates Incentive Scheme and Empty Shop Refit Scheme.
• Support is available until March 31, 2016. For full details of the schemes available, along with eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit Middlesbrough Council website at www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/business/retailsupport