New Business in the Pipeline for Francis

Having been in pipe and metal fabrication for over 14 years, Francis Patterson had a dream of doing things in a different and better way that suits him and his young family and the way of life they all want.

Francis had become bored with doing things the way he’d always done them; he had the dream of wanting to use different welding methods and new materials to create high quality products for his customers using the latest design technologies.

So the first thing Francis did was speak to the Smarta Business Starter Business Support Team at Alt Valley in Croxteth; they help people like Francis get started through the Enterprise Hub start up programme which is co-funded through EU funding. Francis met Business Advisor Roy Meredith who helped Francis evaluate the business opportunity and assisted with the production of a business plan and cash flow forecast.

“I hope to bring a fresh approach to fabrication” says Francis. “I want to build up a trusted client base, and also help anyone who is thinking of choosing this industry as a career, by training them to a high standard getting them fully qualified as highly skilled. These aspects will help differentiate my business from many others.”

During discussions with his ddvisor, the process for applying for start-up loan funding through the Government-backed Start Up Loan scheme was pursued, resulting in a robust business plan and cash flow that was successful in attracting the funds required to get his new business off the ground.

Francis has now set up his new fabrication company – FJP Fabrication Ltd

Francis adds: “ I plan to make innovation the cornerstone of everything my new business makes; I will use new materials, the latest welding methods, bespoke bracketry and pipe spools combined with the latest CAD/CAM design programmes to create unique work. I also want to use my interest in metal sculpture as an add-on to the business. All in all, a fresh approach in a quite conventional industry.”

Enterprise Hub Business Start Up support is available to anyone over the age of 16 yrs thinking of starting a new business in the Liverpool City Region area.

Alt Valley Community Trust is one of several partner organisations in Merseyside delivering the free business support through a high quality team of experienced business advisors.

Business Advisor Roy Meredith commented:

“Francis is typical of many of the young entrepreneurs we get through the Enterprise Hub support programme. He adds business passion to innovation and imagination and it’s no surprise that his application for loan funding has been accepted. I fully expect his new business to go onto great things.”

If you are thinking of starting your own business but unsure how to start, then please conatct the Smarta Business Starter team on 0151 546 5514 or alternativley email

Always Grave Care – An Inspiring ‘Business Start Up’ Story…

After losing several close family members over the last couple of years, Gail recognised what an important part of the grieving process a loved one’s final resting place can be. She noticed that quite a few grave sites were becoming overgrown or had dead flowers on the headstones. After a bit of research, Gail was saddened to learn that a lot of people didn’t live close enough to regularly maintain graves and that this was the cause of some guilt and frustration.

As people move away from areas for work or family reasons, this is becoming a common scenario! Gail had the idea for her business three years ago, but at the time was working for the NHS and wasn’t sure about giving up her job. She knew that redundancies were looming and started to look into her idea by carrying out some market research.

Gail was encouraged by the positive responses that she received, but was dealt a blow when she found out that she had breast cancer. After receiving treatment and being given the all clear, Gail took redundancy from her position and decided that she wanted to pursue her dream of having her own business.

She contacted Alt Valley Community Trust earlier in the year and started working with the Enterprise Hub team, receiving one to one support. Gail got help with completing her business plan, putting together her financial forecast so she could decide if her idea was viable. She was also signposted to banking, loan and website services and undertook training in keeping records for tax.

Gail was relieved to know that there was assistance for her at the early stages of start-up; “If it wasn’t for the help that was available through the Enterprise Hub, I wouldn’t have known how to get started, where to go for a website or what prices to charge, I am really grateful for the service I received.”

Best of luck with your business Gail!

If you or anyone you know is thinking of starting a business then please get in touch with the Enterprise Hub team at Alt Valley Community Trust – Kayleigh Clarke – 0151 546 5514 or email

What a Summer at Lifestyles Croxteth Sports & Wellbeing Centre!

During the summer break, Lifestyles Croxteth Sports & Wellbeing Centre was packed out with young people from our local community and beyond! There was plenty on offer to keep everyone very entertained and motivated; as well as helping working families too.

Croxteth Sports Summer Play Scheme:  Coaches from our centre were on hand to provide fun to our young people during the six week break.  Plenty of sporting activities were available from table tennis, football, tag rugby as well as a mixed ‘Mini Metafit’ session…which proved very popular!

LFC Foundation hosted a 3 day football campMore than 50 children attended this camp.  Everyone enjoyed playing football for 5 hours a day, learning new skills…plus learning from some of the best coaches!

Merseyside & Cheshire Elite Boxing hosted a 4 day boxing camp:  The boxing camp was attended by 75 participants from clubs across the area and was headed by the England & Regional coach; John Warburton.  On the final day we had the pleasure of Mayor Joe Anderson visiting who was very impressed with all who was involved.  The Liverpool ECHO were on hand to capture this and produced an article about how well the camp went.  To read more click here   

We also had another special guest; Undefeated WBA International Champion Tom Farrell; who popped in to give the boys and girls some words of encouragement! Thank you Tom…much appreciated!

Centre manager, Colly Whitty commented how proud she was to see so many young people during the half term break; as well as praise the partners / volunteers who made it successful  “What a pleasure to work in partnership with LFC Foundation and Merseyside & Cheshire Elite Boxing   as well as all the lovely people that came through the doors! I would like to personally thank all the volunteers in particular who gave up their valuable time to make the kids summer a good one!”

To keep up to date with all activities that go on here; please do via the Facebook page or alternatively contact 0151 548 3421.

Children’s Activities at Lifestyles Walton

The children are now back in school (much to the relief of parents!) and Lifestyles Walton Sports and Wellbeing have lots of great activities on to get the children involved with. 
Activities include:
Roller Disco
Get your skates on! Skate around in our disco themed hall to all your favourite songs. Skates are included in the price but are subject to availability. Under 8’s must be accompanied by an adult. 
Every Tuesday and Friday from 4pm until 5.30pm.
£2.50 per child.

Dance with Miss Clare
Fun dance sessions with our dance teacher Miss Clare. 
Every Tuesday and Thursday.
Under 8’s: 4pm – 5pm
Over 8’s: 5pm – 6pm
£2.50 per child.

Football coaching sessions for children aged 3 – 7. 
Every Monday and Wednesday from 4pm until 5pm.
£3.00 per child.

A mixture of the martial arts, Jujitsu and Taekwondo.
Every Friday from 6pm until 8pm and Saturday from 11pm until 1pm. 
£3.50 per child.

Drama classes for children aged 3-15.
Every Monday.
Session 1: 4pm – 5pm
Session 2: 5pm – 6pm
£2.50 per session.

If you need to know anymore information then you can contact the centre via their Facebook page or give them a call on 0151 523 3472.