YOUNG entrepreneurs are encouraged to sign up for financial to help them kickstart their businesses.

Braintree Council is offering out grants of up to £3,000 to help up and coming firms in the area.

Lee Carter, from Cressing, has become the first successful applicant to be awarded a the full grant through the Young Entrepreneur Programme.

Lee, 28, has dreamt about starting his own businesses in the music industry for ten years and is using the grant to fast track plans to create his own music production studio.

The soon to be created, Old Workshop Studio, is a recording and rehearsal facility, and will be the first of its kind in Halstead.

Lee said: “This money has helped me move my business plans forward, which, during this period of uncertainty and economic hardship, has been invaluable. I want to make a positive contribution to the community by helping others who wish to access the music industry.”

The Young Entrepreneur Programme is part of a wider drive to grow the local economy and create jobs.

The scheme is open to those aged between 16 - 30 and aims to inspire young individuals, who may be underachieving in mainstream education or are working in low-skilled jobs, to use their talents for enterprise.

Grants between £500 and £3,000 are available to support start-up costs such as training courses, stock and digital equipment.

Braintree Council's economic boss Tom Cunningham said: "Starting a business from scratch can be a challenging undertaking at any age.

"The ability to raise finance is a key factor in setting up any new business which is why this grant scheme is so important.

"This programme will not only create jobs, but it will also give young people not in education or employment other ways of reaching their potential.

"I’m delighted that Lee is now able to follow his passion and wish him every success with his new venture."

Applicants can apply online by submitting a three-minute video detailing their business idea and it’s potential.