Deli's delight after securing £5,000 council grant to grow business offer
A small independent delicatessen in Earlestown which faced an uncertain future due to the coronavirus pandemic has been helped to expand its offer after securing grant funding from St Helens Borough Council.
Article date: 22 March 2022
Popular with locals for its mouth-watering selection of artisan cheeses, bread and homemade pies, family-run The Deli at 40A in Bridge Street (Earlestown) has recently renovated its kitchen area to allow wife and husband team, Lynette and Paul Crean, to serve up hot speciality sandwiches which are already going down a treat with customers.
The latest venture has been supported by a £5,000 grant from St Helens Borough Council as part of the Metro Mayor's £500,000 Town Centre Fund, which is benefitting up to 20 businesses in Earlestown and St Helens town centres following successful application bids.
Launched in July 2021, the grant scheme aimed to develop investment and growth in town centres, enabling businesses to carry out extensive improvement works as part of their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Located to the back of the building, The Deli at 40A's kitchen area has been updated with new shelving, while the old Artex walls have been replaced with new plastering and a lick of fresh paint.
The funding has also allowed Lynette and Paul to purchase new appliances, such as a bigger sink as well as an oven to sell goods such as pies - which are made at home by Paul - to customers warm.
Commenting on how much of a difference the grant funding has made to her business, food-lover Lynette - who opened the deli in 2019 after a career in public health - said:
"The support we have received from the council during the application process has been brilliant and we're grateful for this funding opportunity which has enabled us to broaden our horizons and offer more things.
"With covid and everything going up in prices, it's been a struggle to keep going so all the little top-up grants from the council have allowed us to expand and grow a bit more and sustain us. If it wasn't for grants like this, we wouldn't be in the position we're in."
Looking to the future, with exciting regeneration plans set for Earlestown, Lynette added:
"I've lived here all my life and it used to be a bustling town, especially Fridays on market day and hopefully that will come back. Newton high street is booming now but hopefully we (Earlestown) can be the shopping district for the whole of Newton-le-Willows.
"Since the Earlestown masterplan was announced you can see bits and bobs happening already - like people looking after their shops more or they've had them done up - so the town looks better, and hopefully other independent businesses will follow."
Councillor Kate Groucutt, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Business, recently paid a visit to The Deli at 40A to see the funding being put to good use.
"Since starting up in Earlestown three years ago, The Deli at 40A has established itself as a firm favourite with residents, and that's down to the passion of Lynette and Paul who love what they do which clearly shows in the quality of their products," said Councillor Groucutt.
"Our town centres have had it tough for a number of years, which certainly hasn't been helped by the pandemic, but as a council we are taking back control to deliver ambitious regeneration plans for St Helens and Earlestown to make the changes residents want to see.
"Having business ambassadors like Lynette and Paul who have felt the challenges over the past few years but come out stronger, is a success story worth celebrating. They can show existing and prospective businesses owners that St Helens Borough really is a great place to live, work, visit and invest."
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
"Getting town centres and high streets in all parts of our region back on the up has been a priority for me since I was first elected. During my first term, I launched a £6m Mayoral Town Centre Fund, which is benefitting communities like St Helens through projects like these.
I know that town centres across the country are facing an existential crisis and the pandemic has only made that worse. But I'm committed to helping reimagine and regenerate these spaces and put them back at the heart of our community. Everyone should have a vibrant local high street that is a hub for people to meet, eat, shop and socialise."
The Deli at 40A is open Wednesday to Saturday, 9am-5pm.