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A council grant helps former airline worker get the Fairground Café off to a flying start

A Weyhill café has been awarded a £750 Business Incentive Grant from Test Valley Borough Council.

Christian Lehmann has re-opened the café at the Fairground Craft and Design Centre in the village. He decided to leave his career in the airline industry in August last year and exchanged a lengthy commute to Heathrow for a job on his doorstep.

The keen gardener, who keeps an allotment, keeps hens and has been an enthusiastic baker for many years, making jams, jellies, fudge, cakes and savouries for his friends and family. The café sells sandwiches and home-made delicious cakes. It is also dog friendly, which has proved popular with the customers.

Christian said: “I am grateful for the grant that helped me while I got the café off the ground. I now have one full time member of staff and 5 part-time staff working with me, and my focus is more in the kitchen than front of house.”

Councillor Linda Lashbrook, who presented the cheque to Christian, said: “I wish Christian all the best in his change of career and new business venture at the Fairground Cafe. The business incentive grants are a fantastic opportunity for a financial boost to local new businesses launching in these turbulent times.”

The council’s business incentive grants are available to anyone looking to set up their own business in Test Valley. Anyone who successfully applies for the grant will receive £750 if their business is still going strong six months later.

These funds have become available to the community as a consequence of the council’s prudent investments, financial management and the use of the New Homes Bonus.

For more information about the council’s grant schemes, visit www.testvalley.gov.uk