New business is first to benefit from grant help

West Park Media - Simon Horniblow, Josh Warren, Nicola Jones, Rob Weber
West Park Media - Simon Horniblow, Josh Warren, Nicola Jones, Rob Weber
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A SMALL business started by two university friends is the first to benefit from Leeds City Council’s Business Growth Fund Grant Scheme.

West Park Media has used the cash to buy vital equipment to allow it to grow.

The grant scheme, launched in June, was created from funding left over when the Leeds Local Enterprise Growth Initiative, known as Sharing the Success, ended in the spring.

The fund aims to support small businesses in the city.

West Park Media was given £6,000 by the scheme which went towards vital high specification Macs, a new server and camera equipment.

The video production company was formed by university friends Simon Horniblow and Oliver Harrison in December 2007. New staff members Nicola Jones, Rob Weber and Joshua Warren have been taken on recently.

One of the business’s first projects was the website studentcooking.tv which has become its biggest project, teaching students how to live a healthy lifestyle when they move away from home via online demonstrations, cooking tips and recipes.

Managing director Simon Horniblow said: “We used the grant for a new server which has enabled us to improve efficiency no end with our video footage now stored centrally rather than on separate hard drives. We can search and locate any video clip and work on the same material making workflow much more efficient.

“This is the single biggest investment we have made for the business since we started with the server costing £30,000 in total, so we are grateful for the help received.”

The Business Growth Fund Grant scheme is aimed at businesses in Leeds with fewer than 250 employees engaged in manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, construction, media production or business to business services.

Coun Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for city development, said: “They are just the kind of business this grant was created for and I am pleased we could support them.”

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