A local business support project is celebrating success, having helped 100 new businesses to launch in Torbay.
At a time when job losses are widespread, Outset Torbay is providing free business start-up support to people interested in becoming self-employed thanks to its £1.8 funding from European Regional Development Fund and Torbay Development Agency.
SeaSnacks in Paignton is the project’s 100th business to launch and is the brainchild of owners Gary Bishop and Jackie Ekers, who approached Outset Torbay for free help to develop their plans for a quality seafood takeaway business.
“We’re passionate about providing a high quality seafood product for people in the Bay, when so much of it gets exported to other parts of the world,” says Gary, who has worked tirelessly to open the business on the Esplanade serving fresh seafood, salads, crab sandwiches, hot and cold drinks, and Langage Farm ice cream. “We’re thrilled to have now opened SeaSnacks, and continue to develop our plans for its future. Outset has given us guidance and the confidence to keep pushing forward when the going got tough and they continue to support us, which is invaluable.”
More than 800 people have now received support from Outset Torbay to increase their business and personal skills and more than 120 jobs have been created for the Bay, since its launch in November 2010.
“This is a fantastic jobs creation success for Torbay!” says Outset Torbay’s Programme Director, Helen Harman. “We are delighted for Gary and Jackie, particularly as they have overcome a number of challenges to realise their ambition for SeaSnacks and in doing so, have employed an additional member of staff. We wish them every success for the future and look forward to continuing our support.”
(Left to right:) Sheena Leaf (Torbay Development Agency), Jackie Ekers, Mayor Gordon Oliver, Helen Harman (Outset Torbay), Kelly Ekers, Gary Bishop.
Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver, said: “Well done to Outset Torbay for creating 120 new jobs and helping 800 people to get the right skills to help them into work. The creation and maintenance of existing jobs is the major part of this Council’s policy to lift the Bay’s economy. The success of Outset Torbay’s start-up programme shows what added value can be achieved when we seek European funding for Torbay. SeaSnacks will be a welcome addition to Paignton’s bustling seafront, and I wish them the very best for their new venture.”
TDA chief executive Steve Parrock said: “The TDA is very proud to have supported Outset Torbay in establishing its start up programme to people into self-employment. Starting up 100 new businesses in less than two years is a real achievement; and is a major part of our business support service which includes innovation centres and events and workshops.
“I wish SeaSnacks every success and am very pleased that they have chosen to invest in Torbay for their new enterprise.”
For more information about local business support available through Outset Torbay call 0800 032 2905 or visit www.outsettorbay.co.uk