Rent-free premises for a year

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Budding businesses are getting the chance to move into prominent town-centre premises in Bedlington, rent-free for a year.

Start-up businesses or existing ones that want a high street presence can enter the competition, which is aimed at encouraging a new approach to retailing in the town.

The winner has also been offered half-price accountancy fees for the first year of trading by Grimes Accountancy Services and free advertising on for the lifetime of the business.

Mayor of Bedlington, Malcolm Robinson, said “What a fantastic opportunity not only to try out your business idea for a whole year with reduced costs, but to also work with a first class business advice service (Bedlingtonshire Development Trust) with a proven track record in helping small businesses succeed.”

Andrew Millne, who is offering up the space, said: “This is one of the best retail locations in the town, close to a major bank, the post office, and acres of free parking.”

To enter, applicants should submit a business plan no later than March 31 to A panel of judges will then choose which applications are put to the public vote.

Votes will be cast by members of the website and Facebook groups such as Make a Noise for Bedlington, Bedlington Matters and Bygone Bedlington.