Entrepreneur sets up Cullercoats firm with help from Tedco and Virgin StartUp

Enterpreneur Simon Laing has launched Cullercoats Bike & Kayak with the help of Tedco Business Support and Virgin StartUp

Ian McClelland Photography Limited Simon Laing and Bill Hartshorne
Simon Laing and Bill Hartshorne

An entrepreneur is on the crest of a wave after securing a £12,000 boost through Virgin StartUp to launch his new venture which will combine his love of sport with promoting some of the best coastline the region has to offer.

Simon Laing, 29, has set up Cullercoats Bike & Kayak which offers people living or visiting the region the opportunity to rent equipment for anything from one hour up to several days and explore the dramatic coastline of the area.

As well as renting bikes and kayaks, Laing will be offering guided tours of the area and a repairs workshop. He has also created a coffee area in his premises on Norma Crescent in Cullercoats.

He was awarded financing through new enterprise loan provider, Virgin StartUp.

Laing said: “I did plenty of research into the various start-up programmes which were available but as soon as I spoke to Bill Hartshorne, Ready for Business adviser at Tedco Business Support, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for.

“Bill helped me strengthen and tighten up my ideas into a robust business plan and remained a positive voice throughout – his enthusiasm, interest and in-depth knowledge of what was needed gave me the confidence that I needed to push on, secure the vital funding through Virgin StartUp and turn my dreams into reality.”

Following a successful pilotin the North East and Cumbria supported by Virgin Money,Virgin StartUp was launched in October 2013 to provide low-cost business loans and mentoringsupport to entrepreneurs across the UK.

Ready for Business is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and Barclays, and is delivered nationwide by the Cavendish Consortium, a partnership between some of England’s leading enterprise agencies together with the National Enterprise Network.

So far the programme has created more than 3,500 new jobs across the UK in the new enterprises it supports, and provides individuals with concentrated support in the pre-start stages of their new business.

Hartshorne added: “Simon has everything that we are looking for in a young entrepreneur; he is passionate about his business and has a genuine love of what he is about to embark upon.

“Securing finance is one of the biggest challenges facing any would-be business owners so for young entrepreneurs like Simon, Virgin StartUp is a vital lifeline to financing which can otherwise be particularly difficult to source.”

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