Calling all budding entrepreneurs

Calderdale Council has teamed up with the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) to give potential businesses the opportunity to trade in markets throughout Calderdale.

The First Pitch scheme gives small business owners of the future the chance to trade in Calderdale markets for up to five days free of charge during ‘Love Your Local Market’ fortnight (Wednesday 15 to Wednesday 29 May).

There are a number of free pitches available throughout the borough for new businesses to bring their products and ideas to the shoppers of Calderdale.

First Pitch judges will assess trading, and draw up a shortlist of 100 traders across the UK, who will be given the chance to trade for a further 12 months at a reduced rate, with personalised support from the NMTF.

At the end of the 12 months, one trader will be awarded £2,000 to help to continue to grow their business.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins, said:

“This is a real opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas, whilst receiving the support of industry experts.

“Local markets are a great place for small businesses to flourish, and this scheme will help those with creative, innovative ideas get started.&quot:

Joe Harrison, Chief Executive of the NMTF, said:

“Many of our well-known brands started life on the markets and we know many people want to take that leap into starting their own business – First Pitch will give you the support you need to bring a product or service to the market.

“If you’re selected as a finalist, you will be given free membership of the NMTF, a free copy of a market trader training guide and a mentor, someone who has a wealth of business and market trading experience. Interested applicants need to apply by 19 April via link)|External link.”

Alongside the support from Calderdale Council, First Pitch has received support from national Government. Local Growth Minister, Mark Prisk, commented on the scheme:

“Markets are an excellent way for new businesses to make a start and can play a vital role in revitalising the local high street and community.

“Alongside projects like the Government-backed Love Your Local Market campaign, First Pitch is helping the high street evolve, nurturing a new generation of entrepreneurs and bringing fresh ideas and new faces into local markets.”

The First Pitch scheme is open to UK residents aged 16 and over, with less than six months experience of market trading. The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday 19 April. For more information and to register, visit link)|External link

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