A new business support programme is being launched in Huddersfield with free help available for start-ups and fledgling businesses less than three years old.

The programme, called Start-Up West Yorkshire, will help aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses to start, run or grow their businesses, providing one-to-one support, expertise and networking.

The programme, funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, will be launched today (Wednesday July 6) at the Glass Box, the flagship centre for Business Kirklees, Kirklees Council’s business, economy and growth service.

The Glass Box is in Friendly Street behind The Media Centre between Northumberland Street and Lord Street in Huddersfield town centre. It runs from 10.30am-1.30pm and can be booked HERE.

Guest speakers from four local start-up businesses include Bethan Lucy Aspland, founder of Pretty in Paper; Claire Fox, owner of the Beehive Candle company; Ian Jackson, of IJJ Consultancy; and Ashleigh Barnes, who set up her sustainable interiors company Bee Brand Designs.

Ashleigh, who sought advice from Start-Up West Yorkshire, was inspired by her experience and will be sharing her journey from start-up to established business.

Bethan Aspland, founder of Pretty in Paper by B

The Start-Up West Yorkshire programme is the ‘second stream’ of a wider Enterprise West Yorkshire programme, and is fully funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

The programme is provided by a collaboration between Business Kirklees, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and Ad:Venture.

If you’re thinking of starting a new business in Kirklees, or your business is under three years old and you’re looking for some extra support, you can access services through Business Kirklees and Start-Up West Yorkshire by emailing business.enquiries@kirklees.gov.uk

Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for growth and regeneration at Kirklees Council, said: “Starting a new business can be daunting, but it can also reap huge rewards. The expertise and support Start-Up West Yorkshire provides helps new business owners step out on the right footing.

“Our region is known for its enterprising nature. Through Business Kirklees, Kirklees Council already provides a wealth of support to businesses of all ages including start-ups, and we’re very excited to be supporting delivery of Start-Up West Yorkshire in our area.

“The availability of this support is particularly important in light of the profound effect recent events have had on businesses and the economy.

“Despite the ongoing negative impacts of the pandemic, we’ve seen business owners show incredible resilience, and a large number of people taking the bold step of starting their own business in recent years.

“We know there are lots of factors in whether a start-up is successful. Starting a business takes talent, drive and commitment – but there are other factors too, like sharing your journey, creating a network and seeking solid support.

“What the service offers will enable more local people to access free advice to support business growth and inspire new start-ups.”

Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said: “Small businesses are the life blood of any community. I’m delighted that as your mayor, I have launched Enterprise West Yorkshire and the support it unlocks for the brilliant people and businesses in West Yorkshire.

“Our region is a brilliant place to live, learn and set up a business and I can’t wait to hear about the fantastic new businesses that will call West Yorkshire home.”