annual report, business support, small business

Business centre helps create over 470 jobs

THE centre helping small businesses across Falkirk district has notched up another successful year.

In its annual report, Falkirk Enterprise Action Trust (FEAT) says it helped 260 businesses to start-up during 2004/2005 – creating more than 470 new jobs.

Full details will be revealed at the organisation’s annual general meeting tomorrow (Friday, September 23).

Director Russell Parker said: “The past year has been one of the busiest and most successful in the history of FEAT. With our help, hundreds of new businesses have got off the ground, creating an employment boost for the area.

“In addition we have been able to make significant contributions to programmes like the BP Loan Fund, which provides much-needed funding to help people grow their businesses in Falkirk district.”

From its base in Grangemouth’s Newhouse Business Park, FEAT provides advice and training for anyone starting or growing a business, much of it free of charge under the national Business Gateway banner.

FEAT – a not-for-profit organisation – also runs a marketing club, provides IT and business training, and offers the hire of its training, meeting and conference facilities.

Mr Parker said of the firms started in the last financial year, nearly half
(117) were run by women. The organisation also helped 23 firms develop their businesses through the Business Gateway Focus on Growth programme.

“This business support programme is designed to help growing businesses achieve their potential through advice and support. Some start-up firms have gone through the programme to become substantial businesses, employing lots of local people – and making a significant contribution to the local economy.”

FEAT’s main funders are Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley and Falkirk Council.

Charlene O’Connor, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley,
said: “FEAT play a pivotal role in delivering the Business Gateway services in the Falkirk area and this year they have again surpassed expectations. Not only are the business start-up figures extremely encouraging but the level of assistance provided for existing companies in the area is central to the growth in the local economy.”

Councillor David Bryson, the convener of Falkirk Council’s Economic Development Committee, is one of FEAT’s Trustees. He said: “FEAT provides valuable services to the local business community. The quantity and quality of services is maintained year after year and I’m sure the Trust will enjoy even more success in the next 12 months.”

You can find out more about FEAT by logging onto the website at http://www.feat.org.uk or e-mail: info@feat.org.uk. Or you can call 01324 665500.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Russell Parker at
FEAT on 01324 665500

or

Adrian Mahoney at
The PR Store on 01506 823714
or 07967 150560
Email: adrian@theprstore.net

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