Pals join the Blackpool start up revolution

Catherine Whitelow and_ Rachel Brown

Catherine Whitelow and_ Rachel Brown

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Blackpool has been singled out in a new report on new businesses for having a high level of start ups in 2014.

A report from Startup Britain showed that 581,173 new businesses were launched.

StartUp Britain’s daily tracker, an online tool, showed various hotspots around the country. The usual suspects featured the South East, Warrington and the big cities but Blackpool was one of the few seaside towns doing well.

In the Blackpool and Fylde area, in 2014, 12.2 new businesses were created in Blackpool per 1,000 people.

The news has been welcomed by Blackpool Council which has operated a Get Started scheme.

One example of one of its start ups is Create Care Training Ltd run by two friends with more than 15 years of combined experience in social care who joined forces to start their own business. Catherine Whitelow and Rachel Brown’s new company aims to ensure employers and employees working in social care have the skills and qualifications to deliver high quality care and support.

The pair, both graduates, met at work and decided to go it alone.

They contacted Blackpool Council’s Get Started service - part of the Start Up Lancashire service supported by the European Regional Development Fund – for help and with one-to-one support, mentoring, courses giving them the knowledge to start up their own company and the rest, as they say, is history.

Catherine said: “The staff at ‘Get Started’ that provide the one to one support and deliver the courses are friendly, approachable and have a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience which they are willing to share. The service helped us to finalise our business plan, ensure legal requirements were in place and get our marketing campaign underway.

“Investing time to access the free training and networking events has been invaluable in securing the foundations of our business.”

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said: “The social care sector is extremely important and having quality people to provide training and expertise is vital.

“I wish Catherine and Rachel the very best with their business.

“Blackpool was ranked highly in the national survey for the amount of new businesses starting up.

“That goes to show we have the entrepreneurial spirit to succeed and Get Started is the perfect way to get advice and support on how to do so.”