EU funds help launch triathlon clothing brand

Carl Burrows (right), founder of Larco Sports, with Mark Iley of the Business Enterprise Fund. (S)

Carl Burrows (right), founder of Larco Sports, with Mark Iley of the Business Enterprise Fund. (S)

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A Ripon businessman has successfully launched a triathlon clothing brand thanks to a crucial lifeline offered by a Yorkshire funding organisation.

Carl Burrows said he found high-street banks put hurdles in his way when he tried to set up Larco Sports, a Harrogate-based sportswear company supplying triathlon clothing.

But after approaching the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) Mr Burrows was able to access funding, launch his business and take on staff.

He said: “My adviser knew about the sporting industry and I was given £20,000 from BEF which formed the stepping stones to get me up and running.”

Larco Sports now employs five staff, including an experienced design team with members formerly employed by sports giants Nike and Head.

The BEF, which is financially supported by the European Union, lends to existing and start-up businesses across North and West Yorkshire.

Mr Burrows, whose family background is in the West Riding textile industry, said: “The business is going really well and quickly. I have a couple of people working for me and my long-term hope is to get a catalogue and a national presence. “I would say BEF did what it said on the tin and I would recommend them to anybody, but would advise people to ensure they have a good business plan prepared to go with.”

l For more information on BEF, go to www.befund.org, call 0845 2003919 or email info@befund.org.