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Breckland businesses win share of £100,000 grant fund

PUBLISHED: 14:33 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:19 26 March 2019

Sophie Gordon at the Alpaca walk experience into Thetford Forest, Wretham. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Sophie Gordon at the Alpaca walk experience into Thetford Forest, Wretham. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Several small businesses in Breckland have been given a cash boost after winning a share of a £100,000 grant fund.

Breckland Council awarded funding as part of its Innovation Den scheme, Picture: Breckland CouncilBreckland Council awarded funding as part of its Innovation Den scheme, Picture: Breckland Council

Breckland Council awarded the funding as part of its Innovation Den scheme, a Dragons Den type initiative whereby 10 potentially promising businesses and new start-ups pitched for a share of the money.

The applicants presented their proposals to a panel, who were ready to release grants of between £4,000 to £20,000 per business, as well as being able to offer additional or alternative support such as access to business mentoring.

Successful businesses included those in app development, drone technology, eco-manufacturing and even an alpacas wellbeing project.

Andy Udall from Horse Saddles For Sale, whose business was successfully awarded investment, said: ”We are really excited to have been given investment and support from the Breckland Innovation Den, which will include invaluable business monitoring to help us develop our marketing and business strategy further.

Let's Go Alpacas was one of the businesses to receive support from Breckland Council's Innovation Den. Picture: Breckland CouncilLet's Go Alpacas was one of the businesses to receive support from Breckland Council's Innovation Den. Picture: Breckland Council

“As a local Breckland business we see this level of commitment and encouragement from the Breckland Innovation Den as invaluable as we move the business forward.”

Sophie Gordon from Let’s Go Alpacas who will receive business strategy and marketing mentoring support also said: “As a result of the Breckland Innovation den I am thrilled to be receiving business development and marketing support, which I am confident will further progress and expand Let’s Go Alpacas. I can’t wait to get started.”

The applicants had to demonstrate how the funding would help them to deliver products or services within the district, drive employment and explain how the grant would help them make their business sustainable for future growth.

The panel was made up of the deputy leader of Breckland Council Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, executive director of West Suffolk College David Ruddy, Jeff Ward from Centurion Safety Products and Valarie Watson-Brown from events and marketing company The Lively Crew.

Mr Chapman-Allen said: “The panel was impressed by all of the presentations on the day, which highlighted the depth of talent and passion local entrepreneurs have for driving business in Breckland.”

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