Two expanding firms in line for rate rebates

TWELVE jobs are being created at two Bradford businesses, thanks to a rate rebate scheme.

Training group Aspire-Igen and Switalskis Solicitors are creating seven jobs and five jobs respectively and as a result will be able to get thousands of pounds back on their rates bill, thanks to Bradford’s City Centre Growth Zone scheme.

The Aspire-Igen group was formed as a result of two of the country’s leading careers companies joining together. Bradford based social enterprise Aspire-Igen acquired Igen Ltd, who were based in Leeds, in the summer of 2014 to create the region’s largest provider of employability, training and guidance services.

Currently employing 113 people in its city-centre headquarters, the company – which has grown its turnover from £4m to £15m – will be creating a further seven jobs this year.

Earlier this year the training group moved into a new base in Cheapside, the former Commerce House opposite Forster Square Station.

The group also purchased a neighbouring cafe, and this week opened it as The Canteen and The Cookery School, offering a group of 16 students, aged 16 to 19, the opportunity to train there.

The facility offers people a way into the catering and hospitality industry, combining qualifications with practical training sessions in a real-life work environment.

The Midland Hotel has been involved with the project from the start, including selecting the qualification and the units the students will do as part of their course.

Aspire-Igen’s chief executive, Caroline Harrison, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our training offer at our Bradford Opportunity Centre to include catering and hospitality.

“We hope that our new facility will support the growth in this area in the district’s economy.”

The second recipient of the rebate, Switalskis Solicitors, provide legal advice and representation to people across Yorkshire in around 20 specialist areas of law.

They started trading in 1993 in Wakefield and opened their second office in Bradford a decade later.

As a result of expanding into more practice areas last year, they have taken on new members of staff in 2017 and now need more space.

They will be relocating to Scorex House on Bolton Road next month.

Switalskis director Louise Noblet said the move to this new premises would enable them to carry out “greater cohesive work within the office” and would also offer them room for growth, as identified in their business plan.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer these two great employers a rate rebate that improves their profitability and boosts growth, which is what our City Centre Growth Zone funding is all about.”

The rate rebate scheme is one strand of the £35m Growth Zone scheme, which aims to boost economic activity in Bradford city centre.

The scheme, which was funded jointly by Government and Bradford Council, runs until March 2020.

So far, more than 220 businesses have received funding from the scheme since it began back in 2012.

Any businesses wanting to find out more about the scheme can contact the Invest in Bradford team on 01274 437727.

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