Budding entrepreneurs in Keighley seeking to set up their own business are being urged to make use of a support initiative before its funding expires.

Bradford Rising Stars’ cash help for start-up businesses comes to an end in March.

The programme, delivered jointly by Bradford Council and the Chamber of Commerce, also supports existing firms.

Among those backed by the scheme is Acetarc Engineering, based in Dalton Lane, Keighley.

An advisor assisted the company as it improved its production management network, and it was awarded a £4,000 grant towards a new computer system.

Acetarc, which manufactures foundry equipment, has now taken on four more workers in response to new contracts.

Company director, Peter Burrell, said: “I would strongly recommend other local businesses enquire about Rising Stars to see how they could benefit.”

Linda Griffiths, one of six advisors with Rising Stars, said: “More than 15 per cent of the entrepreneurs I have been introduced to in just ten months are now trading.

“Many have a forecast turnover of £500,000, and all are operating out of Bradford district.

“It’s an incredibly rewarding task, but to work we need business people with the right mindset and a clear business vision.”

Carolyn Coleman, business services manager at the project, said: “Bradford district is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, and with the support of our specialist advisors, the sky really is the limit for a great business idea.

“With the countdown to the end of Rising Stars funding in March, we want anyone with a strong business concept and a structured plan to contact us now.”

Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, the council’s executive member for employment, skills and culture, said: “Rising Stars has assisted so many businesses to improve, grow and create new jobs in the district, and we would urge more people to come forward for support.”

Visit rising-stars.biz for details.