YORK Retail Forum is staging a dinner during which start-up retailers will be given the chance to pitch for funding.

The forum will be hosting a dinner at Betty’s in York on March 16, dubbed Dragon’s Dinner in homage to TV’s Dragon’s Den.

The event will allow attendees to hear pitches from budding retailers looking to open premises within central York to share a fund of up to £5,000.

Those pitching could be market traders, shopkeepers or entrepreneurs on the way up. Everyone who attends the dinner will vote for the favourite pitch, and the funds will be distributed proportionately, ie if the winner gets 65 per cent of the votes, they will share this portion of the pitching fund.

Phil Pinder, chairman of York Retail Forum said: “We are looking to encourage those wanting to open a shop in York to take those first steps. Pitching an idea to a business audience will hopefully give them the confidence that their idea has success potential. We are looking for anyone trying to take those first steps.”

Tickets are on sale at www.yorkretailforum or email secretary@yorkretailforum.co.uk