Start-up business grant helps local design company

A new design company in Winchester has become the latest recipient of a City Council business start-up grant.

UBU Design, a landscape architecture and design practice, has been allocated the funding to help them set up an office based in the city. The new business, jointly run by Mark Johnson and Richard Willmott, has received the first part of a £1,000 grant, and will be eligible to receive the second installment after six months.

The funding will be used to help purchase office equipment necessary for the team to design their schemes and run the business.

Mark Johnson, partner at UBU Design, is grateful for the Council’s support. He said: “This grant will help us to set up our own practice, and smooth the way for future success. We are really grateful for the support of both Business Link and Winchester City Council, and we are proud to be part of Winchester’s entrepreneurial community.”

The Council has allocated funds for start-up businesses as part of its recession-busting activities for the whole Winchester District. Other measures include training, help with marketing, rate relief, and providing jobs for the long-term unemployed through the Future Jobs Fund.

Kate Crawford, Economic Development Manager at Winchester City Council, said: “UBU Design reflects our outstanding home grown design talent. It is an excellent example of one of our many creative industries which we are seeking to nurture and support. We are hoping to fund more new businesses under this grant scheme, and continue to encourage new applicants.”

Business Link’s Deborah Wyatt, added: “We are delighted to be working with Winchester City Council to help local entrepreneurs. Our Business Link Advisers will assist applicants with business plans and ensure that they have a viable enterprise to present to the Council for a start up grant.”

To apply for the business start-up grant, contact Business Link on 0845 600 9 006 or email You can also find out about other grant schemes by contacting Kate Crawford on 01962 848 563 or emailing