A BRIDAL designer has taken her venture from a back bedroom operation to a boutique business after securing funding from a start-up grant scheme.

Stephanie Moran Couture has opened its appointment only venue in Tadcaster with the help of £3,800 match funding from AD:VENTURE.

Ms Moran was put in touch with the grant programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, by former support agency Business Support York and North Yorkshire.

She was referred to a dedicated advisor from AD:VENTURE, and worked through the programme to identify her goals and put together a more formal business plan, whilst also receiving details about the AD:VENTURE start-up and growth grants.

Ms Moran said: “I was working as a freelance and although I was securing commissions I was finding it hard to work out how to take my business to the next stage.

“That’s when I was informed of AD:VENTURE and I realised that with some support I could put my plans into practice.

“I knew that my real ambition and longer-term goal was to open a couture bridal boutique with studio and showroom, thanks to the opportunity to gain funding, I was able to do this.”

The boutique houses Ms Moran’s first signature collection and also offers a sketch to dress experience for brides-to-be up and down the country.

In addition to the personal bridal service that the boutique can now offer, Ms Moran will also work with other outlets to offer her designs and extend her audience to include trade suppliers as well as direct customers.

The leader of Selby District Council, Cllr Mark Crane, said: “We’ve been investing to deliver a range of business support, as part of our work to offer practical help to businesses across the Selby district who want to grow.

“This is about us helping to bring investment to our town centres, to ensure they thrive into the future.

“Tadcaster is definitely on the up again after the floods of a few years ago and through programmes such as AD:VENTURE we help the town to reach its potential.”

AD:VENTURE, which was created to support eligible young and new businesses who have strong growth ambitions, provides enterprises with the chance to apply for a match-funded Grant of up to £25,000.

To benefit from the programme, companies are asked to evidence through a written business plan how the contributions would be used to support the next steps in their business.