A successful ironing and cleaning company is set to expand, providing Grantown-on-Spey with a much needed service – a launderette.
The Red Sock Launderette & Cleaning Service, formerly known as the Ardenbeg Ironing & Cleaning Service, opens its doors in the High Street on May 21st, providing the town with access to laundrette services for the first time in 20 years.
With the help of Business Gateway Highlands, owner, Rebecca Reid, secured a Business Growth Grant worth nearly £4,000 which not only allowed her to upgrade the former shop’s electrics but helped purchase two industrial washing machines.
Financed through The Highland Council under the Highland LEADER 2007-2013 programme, which aims to promote economic and community development in rural areas, the Business Growth Grant can be applied for after a company uses the expert advice on offer at their local Business Gateway office.
Rebecca (44), a former Army Officer who came to the town to run Ardenbeg Bunkhouse 13 years ago, said: “The ironing and cleaning service started as a way to help generate additional income for the bunkhouse. It became so popular that I had to set it up as a separate company in 2010. Since then the business has continued to grow year-on-year. We now have 30 residential and commercial clients including church halls, hotels and offices, employ six part-time staff and provide weekend and holiday employment to three local children.
“By re-naming the business and offering a totally new service – a launderette – in a prominent position on the High Street we will be able to wash high volumes and attract even more custom. We also give local people and tourists access to the facilities and services, including dry cleaning which will be undertaken in conjunction with the The Dry Cleaning Well in Forres.
“I had read about the Business Growth Grant in the paper and the next day visited my local office to find out more. My Regional Development Officer was very helpful and the recruitment adviser gave me advice on employee contracts. I was amazed at how quick and slick the grant application process was and how useful the assistance has been to me. Without the grant the launderette wouldn’t be opening so soon and I am very grateful for the support.”
Businesses which have been trading for between six months and two years are eligible to apply for a Business Growth Grant after working closely with their local Regional Development Officer who will help them devise a robust action plan before applying for support worth up to £10,000.
Lloyd Cornfield, Regional Development Officer, Business Gateway said: “When Rebecca came to us she knew how she wanted to expand her second business but needed advice on how to turn her plans into a reality. With our help she secured a grant to carry out essential work and produced a plan of action that will allow her to take advantage of the ever increasing demand there is for the services she offers. Working with us has given Rebecca a clear idea of how to achieve her business goals which include creating further local employment opportunities for school leavers, women with young families, unemployed and members of the community with special needs.”
To find out how Business Gateway could benefit your company visit www.yourbusinessgateway.co.uk or call 0845 609 6611.
Alternatively to find out how to apply, and for full conditions of Highland Business Growth Grant, contact the Inverness office on 01463 713889.