Grants open doors for ambitious businesses, apprentices and job-seekers

Press Release: 09/12/2014

Cllr Humby with Natalie Foster from Intergr8 dance

 Grants that aim to change lives by getting people into work and training are on offer from Winchester City Council.

The Council’s business and employment grants are for up to £1,000 and applications are accepted throughout the year until funds are fully allocated.

There is financial support aimed at business development, apprentices and long-term job-seekers in the Winchester District.

Applications may be made atwww.winchester.gov.uk/business or by contacting Winchester City Council’s Economy and Arts Development Manager, Alison Woods, at awoods@winchester.gov.uk

The Business Start-Up Grant is a one-off payment of up to £1,000 to help start-up a business. Applicants, whose business must be located in the Winchester area, must have been trading for less than six months.

Small businesses of one to nine employees that are more established and wish to take themselves to the next stage of their development can apply for a Micro Business Development Grant. They might include: purchases of IT equipment, website design, recruitment costs, help with relocation costs to expand the business or anything else which is essential for developing a micro business.

The Council’s Access to Work Grants for Job-Seekers are designed to remove some of the most common barriers which might prevent the job-seeker from taking on their role. The one-off grants can be used for the costs of transport to the workplace as well as essential equipment such as tools or work clothes. The grant can only be used for items that are not usually provided by an employer.

Applicants for the job-seekers grant must live in the Winchester City Council area, provide evidence that they have been offered a permanent job and have been unemployed for more than six months prior to being offered a job. They should also have been receiving Job-Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support.

The Council’s apprentice scheme allocates grants to apprentices to cover some basic costs which might otherwise be difficult to finance. These range from a simple set of work clothes to the cost of travel to the work place or training venue each week.

Applicants must live within the Winchester District and the grant can potentially be used for any cost to the employee of taking on their apprenticeship which is not reasonably met by their wages, benefits, training provider, employer or other grants.

Cllr Robert Humby, Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

These grants, combined with our new employment mentoring service which uses mentors to help unemployed into work, is part of a whole package of support Winchester City Council is offering businesses and job-seekers.

Charlie Sapey, from Integr8 Dance who has just received a micro business development grant, added:

We are really grateful for the micro business development grant from Winchester City Council. It has enabled us to purchase equipment to be able to take on a new member of staff to organise the administration of a very busy office. Natalie has been with us for a month so far and the difference it has made to our business has been amazing.