Yarmouth to get £900k enterprise centre

Young people in Yarmouth will soon be helped to set up their own businesses at a new centre aimed at kick-starting enterprise in the town.

Young people in Yarmouth will soon be helped to set up their own businesses at a new centre aimed at kick-starting enterprise in the town.

Officials at Great Yarmouth College yesterday announced that almost £900,000 would be spent creating an Alchemy Centre.

The centre, to be built by next summer, will be staffed at all times by trained business advisors waiting for youngsters to drop in for advice.

Those advisors will help people convert their ideas from concept to reality by providing business and enterprise training and support services such as website hosting.

There will also be physical spaces for micro-business development to help young companies take their first step into the corporate world.

Alchemy will form a key part of Yarmouth's £9m ENtERprise-GY project, aimed at giving residents business skills and grants to help take the town out of the economic doldrums.

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College principal Robin Parkinson said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to make their business dreams a reality.

"It's a vote of confidence in the college and Yarmouth - and is a result of a lot of hard work by colleagues who believe that the town can become a significant centre for enterprise and new business start-ups."

Roy Hughes, the college's finance director whose idea the centre was, said: "This will allow people to progress from individual idea to the stage where they're able to take up places in the incubator units.

"We're removing the risk for people who want to become entrepreneurs - at the moment lots of people have brilliant ideas but few are prepared to risk developing them."

Initially Alchemy will focus on creative industries like fashion, photography, media, music, graphic design and web services - all subjects taught at the college.

The £870,000 of funding is coming from the East of England Development Agency and Yarmouth's Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (Legi) funding it was awarded last February.