Rebuilding a stronger district economy

Edition: Summer 2021

As we now emerge from lockdown, the Council’s economic development focus shifts towards building economic recovery. Here’s how we are supporting the creation of new businesses and how we are helping existing businesses build resilience going forward.

Chris Tod of Food and Drink stories, holding a drinks bo

New funding for start-ups

Recognising that many fledgling businesses missed out on much of the Government’s Covid-19 related funding schemes, the Council has dedicated its Local Enterprise and Apprenticeship Programme (LEAP) funding to the local start-up sector.

Here’s what some of the latest fund recipients had to say.

It was a real relief to get the LEAP funding, it helped with set-up fees and the equipment costs of starting something new.

So much of the cost of starting a new business comes before you’ve started to make any money, so it’s been amazing to have this support so early on in my journey.

Chris Tod, Food and Drink Stories (pictured top)

The LEAP Grant offered a much-needed injection of funding to help me to get going, not least the purchase of a professional quality workbench and a MucOff Bio Parts Washer.

Simon Bedford, set up his Billingshurst based cycle repair services business Revolution Cycle Sport Ltd in 2020
Start Up Local

Start up Local

Start-Up Local is a council-led initiative to support residents who have recently started, or might be considering starting, their own business.

A new set of online resources providing guidance and signposting to many aspects of start-up business support have been developed and can be accessed at on the Horsham District Council website.

High street training a success

2020 saw us team up with Solent University and the Chichester College Group to deliver a programme of free online training for local high street businesses.

The training covered how businesses needed to evolve to meet changing customer demands, how to source new sales opportunities, use new online distribution and promotion methods, and how to spot new high street trends.

There was a fantastic response with some 70 of the District’s businesses taking part.

What's coming up

We will continue to support the retail and high street sectors through a series of recorded specialist information sessions and online drop-in workshops throughout the summer of 2021.

Future projects planned for 2021 also include a Pop Up Shop facility in Horsham to aid small independent businesses gain experience of high street trading for the first time.

We are also set to support the launch of a new artisan market in Henfield, in addition to the Horsham based outdoor markets, all of which provide opportunities for start-up and small businesses to trade.

There will also be a Shop Improvement Grant Programme later in 2021  which will enable our retail businesses to apply for up to £4,000 of funding to make improvements to their premises.

Get in touch

For further information on any of our business development schemes, email

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