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Fitness expert from Newton Aycliffe taps into scheme to boost businesses
A FITNESS expert is one of the first to benefit from a new employment scheme that aims to create dozens of new businesses over the next year.
Stuart Furlonger, of Newton Aycliffe, is pursing his dream career as a self-employed personal trainer thanks to Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership’s (GAMP) Step into Business scheme.
It offers grants of up to £850 to allow start-up businesses in the Newton Aycliffe area to pay for equipment, clothing, professional memberships, marketing and website design and development.
Grants of up to £400 are also available to established businesses with less than 50 employees.
Mr Furlonger’s venture, Fit4longer, was one of 14 successful business plans to receive the funding, which is being distributed by South Durham Enterprise Agency (SDEA).
He is now running his new business in and around Newton Aycliffe, offering personal training, sports massage, resistance training, exercise classes, bodybuilding, boot camps and much more.
“The funding helped me buy essential equipment for running my classes, from community venue classes, through to Grants Gym, in Bishop Auckland," he said.
“I would not be able to run the classes I do without the equipment that I bought with the GAMP grant.”
Steven Robson, chief executive of SDEA, said: “We’re over the moon Stuart has been able to start his small business thanks to the GAMP scheme.
“Access to finance to get small businesses going can be so difficult and Stuart is a great example of a young person with enthusiasm and drive being able to access support to make their ambitions a reality.
“We wish him all the best with his new venture.”
Step into Business aims to assist 40 Newton Aycliffe and Middridge residents into self-employment over the next 12 months.
A well as the small grants fund, SDEA staff also offer one-to-one advice, guidance and targeted workshops.
For more information about Step into Business contact Jonathan Armitage, at SDEA, on 01388-776688 or at email@example.com
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