A spring in their step

INITIATIVE: Christine Hall and Mick Emerson, principal economic development officer with Hartlepool Borough Council
INITIATIVE: Christine Hall and Mick Emerson, principal economic development officer with Hartlepool Borough Council

A NEW initiative to help people in Hartlepool make the jump into self-employment is attracting lots of interest.

But there is still time for people to start up to the new scheme which is called ‘Leapfrog – Jump-Start Your Future’.

And for those wanting to find out more, a launch event will be held next week.

The programme is run by North-East based training provider Amacus in partnership with Hartlepool Council and Cleveland College of Art and Design. It is part-funded by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund and the Skills Funding Agency.

The launch event takes place on Thursday next week in the Grand Hotel in Swainson Street in Hartlepool.

It will run from 6pm to 8pm to give people a chance to find out more and sign up.

The programme itself will include a full package of training sessions and one-to-one support which will run between May and July in the Grand Hotel on Thursday evenings from 6pm-8.30pm. They will the key areas of: Planning Business Start-Up; How to Marketing Your Business; Money Know How, Legal Essentials and How to Present Your Business.

Amacus managing director Christine Hall said Leapfrog was aimed at people in Hartlepool who are in some form of employment but who have “serious aspirations to strike out on their own and are being held back because they feel they lack the skills and confidence.”

She added: “We have had a really good response and got 25 people signed up which is fantastic. There is still room for more people to come along and we want as many people as possible from Hartlepool to take advantage of this.”

She said Amacus was already offering the Leapfrog programme for people who were out of work in the Hartlepool and South Durham areas and the new initiative was a logical extension of that.

Mick Emerson, principal economic regeneration officer at Hartlepool Council, explained:”it is important that we continue to develop new businesses as one of the ways of ensuring diversity in the Hartlepool business community. This scheme is a particularly important element of the support because it has been specifically designed to attract people who are currently in employment and it builds on the Council’s Growth Hub based at Hartlepool Enterprise Centre.”

The Hartlepool Enterprise Growth Hub project is part financed by the North-East England European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding

To find out more and to book a place at the launch event, contact Amacus on (01429) 890071, email info@amacusltd.co.uk or visit www.amacusltd.co.uk