AN agricultural engineer and building designer has received a £1,000 grant to help grow his small business.

James Hudson will use the cash from the Richmondshire District Council small business grant scheme to upgrade IT equipment.

The Newton-le-Willows-based businessman wants to add computer aided design software to his systems.

The grant scheme has supported 17 local businesses since its launch in November last year - handing over more than £14,600.

Businesses must be located within Richmondshire, have fewer than four FTE employees and reserves of less than £25,000. They must also be solvent and up to date with council accounts such as business rates.

Cllr Richard Ormston said: “Through this grant scheme small businesses, like James Hudson’s, can make huge strides forward. We urge more local people to take advantage of the scheme."

The next deadline is April 1. Contact Samantha Coultish on 01748-901037.