Council support ten business start-up ideas on a funded Local Economic Development Programme
11 April 2016
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg, officially opens Lizie Nellie with proprietor Liz Corrigan, Paschal Corrigan, Patricia Crawford & Roisin Chesney.
On 8 April 2016 the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg, officially opened Lizie Nellie, a local fabric and textile shop in Randalstown. The event was significant as it marked the closing of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Bricks and Clicks retail business start-up Programme. The Bricks and Clicks Programme was a Council funded Local Economic Development Programme which ran from November 2015 to the end of March 2016.
The programme sought to support ten individuals with a business idea and guide them through their business start-up journey. The participants each had a retail business idea with both traditional retail businesses (‘bricks’) and online retail businesses (‘clicks’) being eligible. The Programme offered a combination of specialist business start-up workshops and focussed one-to-one mentoring from expert business consultants working on behalf of the Council. Participants were able to avail of market test-trading where they were given the opportunity to trial their products and service before launching their business. They also engaged in best-practice visits to successful retail businesses to observe and learn from experienced business owners.
The ten participants involved in the Programme came from across the new Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey with half of the businesses being from the former Antrim Borough area and half of the businesses coming from the former Newtownabbey Borough area. Additionally, half of the business ideas were online retail business ideas and half were traditional bricks and mortar style business ideas.
Liz Corrigan has successfully come through the Programme and was delighted to welcome the Mayor to formally open her fabric and textile shop, Lizie Nellie, on Randalstown’s Main Street. The shop will offer a range of traditional Irish linens and textiles as well as offering sewing and craft classes for people with a range of abilities. Liz said: “It’s very exciting to finally be opening my own shop. I’ve been thinking about this and planning it for a very long time. This programme has helped me to make a long-standing ambition a reality. I’m very grateful to the Council for the support that they’ve given me and I can’t wait to welcome customers to Lizie Nellie.”
Councillor Thomas Hogg, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, said: “This Programme is just one example of support that the Council offers to local businesses. The Council supports business start-up through a number of initiatives and this one has direct benefits to the Borough as a whole. We’ve seen two commercial premises occupied in our local towns and we have eight new businesses trading within the Borough. I wish Liz and all of the other participants in the Bricks and Clicks Programme the very best of luck in their new venture.”
Anyone wanting to enquire about sewing classes at Lizie Nellie should visit www.lizienellie.com or email Liz at [email protected]
Liz is one of two participants who have taken up commercial retail premises throughout the duration of the Programme with Glengormkeys, an innovative key cutting business, starting in Glengormley. Glengormkeys offer customers replacement electronic programmable key fobs for missing car keys as well as traditional locksmith, key cutting and shoe repair services.
In addition, the Programme has supported a number of online start-up businesses including Hedgehoghealth.com and Kathysbakes.com. HedgeHog Health is an online retail outlet specialising in health foods, nutrients, supplements and superfoods for those looking for a healthier and more active lifestyle. Proprietor David Mooney, who was also present to support the opening of Lizie Nellie, said: “I had a business plan and a good idea of what I wanted to do, but I was still a long way from being able to start the business. The Bricks and Clicks Programme gave me great guidance, help and support and I can’t believe how quickly we’ve been able to get from plan to start-up. The website looks great and it’s already received a bit of interest. I’m looking forward to growing the business and recruiting a team around me.”
Kathy’s Bakes is a website focussing on home baking video tutorials. The brainchild of Gabbi Ferrin, the site hosts a number of videos of home-baking favourites including cupcakes, cookies and traditional cakes. The recipes aim to use the best of Northern Ireland’s food producers in this NI Year of Food and Drink 2016. In time, visitors to the website will be offered the opportunity to subscribe to the service and receive regular new recipes and content as well as special offers and seasonal ideas.
For details of the different support initiatives that Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council offer to those with a business idea and those who are already established in business visit http://www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/Business
David Mooney (Hedgehoghealth.com) with Alastair Law (Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council), Paul Neeson (Sclata Design), Ian Laverty (Ingenuity), Liz Corrigan (Lizie Nellie) and Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg celebrate the success of the Bricks & Clicks Programme.