New venture gets helping hand from council's business fund

Posted on Tuesday 6th December 2016

Two enterprising Newport business partners are toasting the opening of their latest venue after becoming the first recipients of a new type of grant from Newport City Council.

Matt Ellis and Ant Cook, who already own the successful Parc Pantry in Malpas and run the Tearooms in Belle Vue Park, have now moved into High Street with Parc Central.

They applied for, a shop subsidy grant to help with the costs of running the business in its first year.

In October, a business development fund of £60,000 was set aside for a number of initiatives to stimulate further economic growth and investment in the city centre.

It included grants of up to £6,000 towards the costs of setting up a retail business in Commercial Street and High Street.

Councillor John Richards, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Investment, said: "It is great that the first grant has been awarded to Parc Central, and I'm sure it will go from strength to strength.

"Friars Walk has undoubtedly had a positive effect on the city centre and new businesses have opened up around the new retail and leisure scheme, but there are still some empty shops that we would like to see brought into use.

"We know that overheads, such as rents and business rates, can deter smaller retailers but unfortunately we have no control over rents set by private landlords or the level of business rates

"The business development fund grants are designed to support new ventures by giving them some financial assistance towards those costs in the early days, and help them to become established."

Ant Cook said: "We're delighted to be part of Newport's regeneration and be involved in what could be seen as the city's independent quarter.

"We've been long standing admirers of Newport's historic architecture and have been looking at various buildings along High Street for the previous three years.

"It's a huge honour for us that the council has a shared vision of the potential of this street and granted us funding toward our first year's rent."

For more information or to apply for a grant, contact the council's business support team on 01633 656656 or email,

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