A £3M FUND that could encourage entrepreneurs to set up shop in Colwyn Bay town centre has been launched.

The Town Centre Entrepreneurship Fund will provide grant funding and loans to help entrepreneurs start their business in Colwyn Bay, as well as Rhyl, Bangor and Wrexham.

The year-long Welsh Government scheme aims to revitalise town centres which have been "severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic" and give entrepreneurs "a helping hand" amid a difficult economy.

A discretionary grant of £2,500 to £10,000 will support businesses with the revenue costs associated with starting up or relocating to a town centre.

Meanwhile the loan element operated by the Development Bank of Wales will offer sums from £1,000 through to £50,000.

The fund opened for applications on June 21.

“Our town centres have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and this pilot project aims to encourage and support new businesses in four of North Wales’ town centres," said Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething.

"The fund will give entrepreneurs the incentive and a helping hand to set up business there.

“The aim is to not only increase businesses in those town centres but also to support new business.”

Applicants will have to meet criteria including being a new business start-up or a micro business employing up to nine employees, trading for less than two years and  provide a viable 12-month business plan for the designated town centre location.

Entrepreneurs must also be able to demonstrate a minimum of 100 per cent match funding for a grant.

Minister for North Wales, Lesley Griffiths, said: “The past year and a half has been an exceptionally challenging time for businesses and our town centres. There is great potential in our town centres, and we want to see that realised.

“Pilot projects like this will assist our town centres and communities to deal with the impact of the pandemic.”

Apply for the Town Centre Entrepreneurship Fund here.