Would-be entrepreneurs and new business owners in Eastbourne are invited to register for a free programme to help make their new enterprise a success.

Now in its second year in Eastbourne, the Local Enterprise & Apprenticeship Platform (LEAP) programme is supported by Eastbourne Borough Council and has received £77,000 from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Applications are open for the 2024 programme which starts in May with a business start-up workshop. Candidates will be offered tailored support including one-to-one mentoring to help them create a robust business plan and they may be selected to present their ideas in a Dragon’s Den style event. The event’s winner will take home £2,500 towards their start-up costs and a runner-up will be awarded £500.

Councillor Colin Swansborough, Cabinet Member for Enterprise, said: “This is a fantastic, free programme run by experts to support new local businesses in becoming successful.

“So whether you are thinking of starting up your own business or you are in the early stages of getting your enterprise off the ground, register for LEAP and access the help you need to turn your business dream into reality.”

Anyone who lives in Eastbourne and is considering starting their own business is eligible to join, as are business owners in the town who have been trading for less than a year.

The LEAP programme is delivered by not-for-profit organisation Edeal. To find out more, or to register, visit www.edealgroup.org/leap-startup-programme.


With photo of last year’s winner Elli Meekings (centre) and runners up Eve Lumb (left) and Kimi Westgate (right) with Cllr Stephen Holt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council.

Note to editors:

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus