A boutique selling pre-owned designer and vintage fashion is making a welcome return to Bolton thanks to a grant from Bolton Council.
Elite Dress Agency is the first business to take up help from the council’s new grant scheme, which is aimed at attracting new retail and leisure businesses into the town centre.
Grants of up to £20,000 are available under the scheme to support businesses in opening up in the town centre.
Elite previously had a retail outlet in the town 15 years ago and has now signed a three-year lease for premises on 32 Bridge Street.
The Bolton store will be Elite’s third, adding to their established shops on King Street West, Manchester and Market Street, Altrincham.
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “The grant scheme was set up specifically to help businesses like Elite. It’s an independent successful business with a unique offering, and it’s the type of shop that we don’t have in the town centre which we want to see opening.
“Economically times are hard but things are getting better slowly and the very fact that Elite has chosen to come back here says something about their confidence in the town centre. The shop unit they’re going into has been empty for just over 12 months and it’ll be good to see it back in use.
“I know they’re pulling out all the stops to open as quickly as possible and I’m very pleased that the grant will help.”
The Bolton store is set to open on Saturday, April 12 and the company is planning a big official launch party to take place in May.
Elite sells good quality second-hand designer clothing and accessories at high street prices. Shoppers can bring in their items to sell and receive half of the profit when the item is sold. Fashion labels range from designers including Mulberry and Chanel to the top-end of the High Street such as Zara, Ted Baker and All Saints.
The money that they have been awarded from the council will be used on signage, security tagging, fixtures and fittings, and towards rent costs.
Company director and Bolton store manager Christine Lister said the offer of financial help from the council was a big factor in their decision to return to the town. “The support from the council has been amazing and the grant is a huge help. It means that we can get everything up and running the way we want. We’ll be using local companies and we’re also recruiting for two part time posts.
She added, “I used to manage the Bolton shop, which was actually also on Bridge Street. Unfortunately we had to shut that shop due to rents and rates going up, and the economy hit a bit of a downturn. But things are picking up again in Bolton. So when these premises came up and the offer of financial help, we decided that now is the right time to come back. We are so excited about coming back and we just can’t wait to open.”
For more information about the grants scheme, go to www.bolton.gov.uk/business or call 01204 336222/6131. For more information about Elite visit www.elitedressagency.co.uk or follow @EliteDress on Twitter.