Free retail space boost for Stockton businesses

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Image caption The new retailers will be given help to attract customers

Budding entrepreneurs have been offered a helping hand in a Teesside town.

Stockton Council is creating an "enterprise arcade" which gives new companies free retail space and a package of support for six months.

Businesses need to buy their own stock and take out insurance, the council will fit out the unit and look after branding to attract customers.

Based in the former Burton's store in the High Street there are hopes the arcade could be open before Christmas.

Councillor Bob Cook, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: "We'll consider more or less any type of business, provided it involves retailing.

"It's a great idea to give a 'jump start' to people who want to turn their retailing dream into reality, with a relatively low risk."

When the six months are over there will be help in finding new premises.

There are for five spaces, and interested parties must provide a full business plan, two references and other information.

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