Coalfield trust aids Barnsley start-ups

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Entrepreneurs in Barnsley are being offered new loans to get their businesses off the ground.

The loans have been made available as a result of a new partnership involving the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) and business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley.

BBIC already delivers the SmartStart and Genesis programmes, which are part funded by Enterprising Barnsley, using European Union cash.

SmartStart is a programme of free workshops and one-to-one advice for people considering starting a business, while the Genesis programme provides intensive business coaching, technical assistance and business development workshops for businesses with growth potential in the first years of their life.

Thanks to the new partnership, companies receiving support from either programme will now be eligible for Micro Business Loans, worth between £500 and £3,000, from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

The Trust’s Peter McNestry said: “Our partnership with BBIC means that our loans will go hand in hand with the free, expert wrap-around business support offered by Enterprising Barnsley.

“The companies we loan money to will be in a much stronger position to use the investment to successfully establish and grow their business.”

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust introduced its Micro Business Loan Scheme in response to a report in 2010 which showed that the number of businesses per head of the population in coalfield areas was far below the national average.