TWO shops have opened up in Nelson thanks to grants given by Pendle Council.

First Stop and Choc Stop have opened recently in the town centre after the owners applied to the council for funding.

Councillor Paul White, who leads on regeneration, said: “It’s great to support local businesses like these through our Premises Improvement and Business Start up grants.

“The new shops look fantastic and offer something that’s a little bit different, in a central location.

“There really is no stopping business in Pendle.”

Grants can be used for a variety of things including signage, canopies, new windows and window displays .

The council can also pay towards new websites for businesses and promotional flyers.

First Stop, owned by Andy Coulton, sells electronic cigarettes, a healthy substitute to smoking.

He said: “Starting up a new business is always costly and the grant really helped to speed things up.

“The assistance from Paul Collins and Imtiaz Shah in the council’s economic development team was priceless.

“Coming from outside Pendle I was more than happy to set up business in Nelson.

“The location and shop size was perfect”

Anyone starting up a new business in Pendle can contact the council for advice about grants. For more information visit or call Imtiaz Shah on 01282 661688.