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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Enterprise arcade helps new Stockton businesses on road to success

Friday, March 30, 2012

The search is on for another up and coming business to take its first few steps to success in Stockton.

Stockton's Enterprise Arcade helps businesses set up shop in the town centre and now Stockton Council is looking for another potential retailer to take advantage of the low cost, low-risk retail opportunity.

The Enterprise Arcade provides free shop space and a full package of support including help to find suitable permanent accommodation for those retailers who find their business idea is viable.

The most recent business to move on from the Enterprise Arcade is the Black Box.

The alternative Goth business initially started trading in the Enterprise Arcade at 147 High Street last November.

The Black Box sells clothes and accessories while also supporting local bands like The Bends, Moonrunner and Unsung Heroes through sponsorship and advertising.

During the last six months the business has gone from strength to strength, so much so that it is now in a position to move on to open its own permanent shop in Hambletonian Yard on 1 May.

Jonn Imrie of the Black Box, said: "The Enterprise Arcade is a really great scheme and is a fantastic way to help new businesses find their feet.

"I would definitely encourage any one with a business idea to contact the Council and explore the possibility of taking advantage of the Enterprise Arcade."

The Black Box is following in the footsteps of Chocs Away, a traditional sweet shop and Hobbies R UZ, a family run business specialising in hobbies.

Both Choc Away and Hobbies R UZ started out in the Enterprise Arcade a year ago and now operate successfully from their own units on Silver Street in the town.

Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Mike Smith, said: "As part of the £20 million regeneration of Stockton Town Centre we would like to develop a unique retail experience where visitors can shop at many different independent businesses.

"The Enterprise Arcade is one of the schemes we offer to try and support new business development.

"The scheme has already helped several independent businesses start-up in Stockton and I'm looking forward to seeing more new traders follow in their footsteps."

Supporting the Stockton Council initiative, Karen Eve, General Manager of Castlegate Shopping Centre said: “The Enterprise Arcade is a great initiative, supporting the entrepreneurial talent of Stockton. At a time when self-employment is increasing the Arcade gives a valuable head start to new businesses in the region.

"Initiatives like this complement the £20 million regeneration of Stockton Town Centre and the major refurbishment underway at Castlegate Shopping Centre. These schemes all contribute to the creation of a unique and vibrant retail centre which will support and sustain business development. I hope we will see many fledgling businesses starting off in the Enterprise Arcade go on to establish themselves in the town."

The Enterprise Arcade is open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5pm.

To apply for a place in the Enterprise Arcade or to find out more about it, contact Mike Bowron at Stockton Council on (01642) 393939.

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