100 new businesses ‘Get Started’ in 2013

One hundred new businesses have been set up thanks to help from Blackpool Council this year.

The Council’s Get Started team, which is part of the Start Up Lancashire service supported by the *European Regional Development Fund, has now helped a century of local businesses to start in 2013.

Ranging from magicians to accountants, legal services to bakers, the new businesses have been created from different sectors but are all local.

As well as gaining advice and training from the Get Started scheme, the Council’s team have helped companies to access around £350,000 worth of loans.

They have been accessed from various national schemes, including the Start Up Loan fund, the X Forces fund and the New Enterprise Allowance.

The company enjoying the sweet success of being number one hundred is the Lancashire Cheesecake Company.

Matt Watts
Matt Watts

Matt Watts (above), who set up the cheesecake business with his wife Sharon, is now supplying prestige catering outlets across the Fylde Coast.

Matt, from South Shore, said: “I’ve been an employee and a manager before but this time, although I’m doing something I have a lot of knowledge about and passion for, it’s my own money and ultimately for my children’s future. It’s time to put my money where my mouth is.

“Thanks to the [Council’s] Get Started team, I now have confidence that The Lancashire Cheesecake Company, and the best cheesecake you’ll ever taste, is on the right track.

And the company have already had a taste of success, already supplying a number of restaurants around the Fylde coast.

The Get Started team have continued to support companies who have used the service, including helping the Fylde Promotional Merchandise company to move into new offices at the New Enterprise Centre on Lytham Road.

Managing Director of the business, Graham Arnold, said: “It is really encouraging to know that someone is looking out for our interests and ensures we are included in new initiatives such as the Mayor’s networking group and other business building opportunities.”

Cllr Fred Jackson, Cabinet Member for Urban Regeneration, said: “We are really eager to help start up new companies to help bolster the local economy.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we have helped to create 100 new businesses and pump around £350,000 pounds into the town.

“I wish Matt’s Cheesecake Company, and all the businesses that we’ve helped to set up, the best of success in the future.

“New companies can start from a simple idea, passion or skill. Whatever your business, our experts will be on hand to help develop it into a functioning company, providing advice on business plans, accounting and accessing finance.”

Over the course of the year, businesses from all different sectors have accessed help from the Get Started team.

Nicola and Chris Attwood set up an IT company in North Shore, called Axon Communications.

Nicola and Chris Attwood
Nicola and Chris Attwood

Nicola said: “We have had an enormous amount of help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started team, who have been very helpful with our business plan, financial cash sheets, and even helped with a loan application to enable our business to expand. “We have attended all the courses to help us on our way, and would like to say a huge thank you for the support. We would have been lost without their help.”

Kim Styles
Kim Styles

Mum of two, Kim Styles (above) set up a boutique hair salon in South Shore: “I spoke to the team and went on a few of their advice courses about how to set up on my own and they were really supportive and helpful. They were honest too and told me exactly how to improve my business plan. I couldn’t have set up without them.”

Ben Marshall
Ben Marshall

Ben Marshall (above), director at a new music production company, Dynamequ, added: “Get Started have given me a life changing opportunity which I am extremely grateful for. I have had a superb amount of ongoing support from my mentor who still to this day gives me help and advice when I need it “Get Started gives you a sense of what you can achieve because without a start up fund, my business would not be secure and it would certainly take me a lot longer to achieve my ambitions.”To “get started” yourself, call 477147 to speak to a business advisor or email|

*The European Regional Development Fund in the Northwest The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment.