By Ian Dipple Friday 21 September 2012 Updated: 24/09 17:06
BUDDING entrepreneurs can bid for support to open a new business in Redditch Town Centre as part of a Dragons' Den style scheme.
The Pitch Your Plan project is being officially launched by Redditch Town Centre Partnership today (Friday) and aims to revitalise the Church Green, Alcester Street and Unicorn Hill area by attracting independent shops and eateries into empty premises.
Business hopefuls will present their ideas and plans to a panel of 'chiefs' who will assess the proposals and decide which ones should receive funding and the backing of the TCP.
The full line-up of the panel was being kept under wraps at the time the Standard went to press but is believed to include successful businessman and Redditch United chairman Chris Swan and Brenda Killigrew, founder of Inkberrow Design Centre and The Old Needle Works in Britten Street.
Successful bidders will get help with the cost of rent, fitting out the interior of their shop, low rate business loans, free accountancy services, business mentoring and coaching.
The scheme is being funded by a £100,000 High Street Innovation Grant given by the Government to Redditch Borough Council which is also backing the scheme.
Lyndsey Hadley, Town Centre Co-ordinator and director of Redditch TCP, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with an ambition to open their own shop, café bistro or restaurant in Redditch Town Centre.
"This is a key step in helping to revitalise the old town area and introduce a more varied offer for local people, workers and visitors to enjoy."
Winning bids will be announced at the beginning of November. Anyone interested in applying should visit www.pitch4redditch.co.uk for more information.
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