20 June 2024

‘Business advisers helped put us on the map’

Invest East Yorkshire’s Business Support team has provided funding and advice to the owner of a new Hornsea-based business, helping to bring a vacant shop in the seaside town back into use.

Baron Hartley Wines is located in sensitively renovated premises in Market Place and opened for business in November, just in time for the festive season.

Its owner, Lee Hartley, worked with the Business Support team in the months leading up to the launch of his new business after contacting them through the Invest East Yorkshire website.

Although he had initially inquired about funding opportunities and support for another of his businesses, Lee mentioned the idea of taking over the wine business during a meeting with one of the team’s business advisers. At that point, it was merely a start-up idea; he had not yet registered his new business with Companies House or identified suitable premises in which to locate it.

Chris Page advised Lee on the many things that he would need to consider progressing his idea of opening a wine shop, from securing an alcohol licence to recruiting staff. The team also helped to identify grant funding that Lee was able to access to help cover the cost of renovating the empty shop and bringing it back into use as the headquarters for his fledgling business.

Chris said: “I also introduced Lee to the Hornsea Collective group of business owners. This helped him to forge useful contacts within the local business community and gave him a platform through which he could start promoting the forthcoming launch of Baron Hartley Wines.”

Baron Wines was previously an established online business, which Lee decided to take over when its owner, one of his close friends, opted to semi-retire. Lee, who lives in Hornsea, saw an opportunity to take the business in a completely new direction by establishing retail premises in his home town, offering wines to the public and local businesses, as well as wine tasting events and local delivery. However, he also continues to offer online sales through the website.

The new venture, which opened for business ahead of Hornsea’s annual Christmas lights switch-on, has already created one full-time job and there is potential for one or two more part- time posts to become available soon.

Lee said: “To have the support of an adviser like Chris helping me focus on an action plan, from conception to completion, gave me a lot of encouragement to pursue personal and premises license applications, as well as the grant funding contribution.

“On top of all this, local business-friendly contacts came forward from the Hornsea Collective to put Baron Hartley Wines on the map via competitions and sponsorship, which helps to keep the seaside town alive and kicking.”

Invest East Yorkshire’s Business Support team can help eligible local businesses access grants though the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF).

Advisers work closely with business owners to help them identify projects that will help their business grow and evolve, as well as identifying any sources of grant funding that may be available to help them cover the costs.