Chorley Council celebrates centenary of business start-ups

A business set up by former workmates who were made redundant when the firm they worked for ceased trading is the 100th new business to be supported by Chorley Council since it launched its specialist start-up service.

Ani-mate Products compressedAni-mate Products Limited designs and manufactures high quality feed bins and tack lockers from its Croston base for distribution throughout the country.

And husband and wife team, Martin and Jayne Smith who set up the business and took on two of their former colleagues who had been made redundant at the same time, said they were ‘over the moon’ at the amount of help and support they’ve received from the council.

Jayne said: “We didn’t expect the amount of help we got, it has been wonderful. It wasn’t just the start-up grant we received, although that’s useful, it’s the advice, the help, the workshops even just having a point of contact when you just don’t know where to turn.

“We’ve never been employers before so there were so many things we had no idea about. The help and support we’ve had from the council has been and continues to be invaluable.”

Councillor Terry Brown, who oversees business start-ups for Chorley Council, said: “I am delighted that our 100th start up business is one which is providing work for four people who had been made redundant.

“Martin and Jayne had a clear vision for their business but needed help to ensure they set off in the right direction.

“And that’s where we stepped in. Our business advice service offers a complete package for people setting up in business from grant aid, advice and support through to regular workshops on running a business and more - and it’s all free.

“I wish Jayne and Martin well with their business and their plans for the future. I’m also now looking forward to seeing Chorley’s 200th start-up business get off the ground in the not too distant future.”

Ani-mate Products, based at Twin Lakes Industrial Park, design and manufacture the 100% vermin proof feed bins and tack lockers from galvanised metal which are then delivered to customers ready to use.

Jayne said: “Martin and I designed the product which we made at our previous employment. We built a good name for them so when we were made redundant we decided to have a go at doing it ourselves and took on two of our former colleagues to help us.

“Our customers are mainly from the agriculture and equestrian world particularly in the south of England but our products are ideal for anyone who needs to store animal feed or tack because they are 100% vermin proof and they are also lockable to help prevent theft.

“We manufacture a range of standard sized products but we can also do bespoke sizes to fit people’s needs, put wheels on them to make them mobile, offer powder coated products in different colours and we can even offer a personalised service with photos of people’s pets on the doors. Because we design them ourselves, we can do exactly what people want.”

Jayne and Martin, who have horses themselves and so understand the need for high quality feed bins and tack lockers, can list Olympic gold medal show jumper Nick Skelton and television broadcaster Richard Hammond among their customers. They also sponsor Junior GB dressage team rider Gabby Lucas. Jayne said: “We also get a lot of customers from agricultural shows and exhibitions we attend. We used to show our horses and take some of our products with us, but we became so busy that we now have to leave the horses at home!”