Council Grant for Cycling SeamstressTest Valley Borough Council has awarded a £500 Business Incentive Grant to a talented and creative local seamstress, Maria Wright, to support her new textiles company, The Cycling Seamstress.

Maria is based in Hurstbourne Tarrant and enjoys inspiring her clients with imaginative dress alterations, pattern cutting and designing bespoke garments. She has called her business The Cycling Seamstress because she enjoys using her bike to travel to her clients’ homes. Maria also teaches sewing classes to children and adults in Hurstbourne Tarrant and at Beulah’s Attic, an indoor vintage market, in Shipton Bellinger.

She said: “I would like to thank Test Valley Borough Council for awarding me with the Business Incentive Grant. I plan to buy a special type of sewing machine, called an overlocker, with the money, which will help me to create items with a unique edging, hemming or seaming stitch. I am really enjoying turning my hobby into a business and I have lots of ideas for future creative projects.” Anyone wishing to contact Maria can do so by emailing

Ward Councillor for Bourne Valley and Economic Portfolio Holder, Councillor Peter Giddings, said: “Maria is a very talented seamstress who provides an excellent service to her customers. I am pleased to present her with the grant and I wish her the best of luck for the future.”

The £500 grants are available to anyone looking to set up their own business in Test Valley. Budding entrepreneurs should apply for the grant before they start their company and if it is still going strong six months later, they will receive the cheque.

For more information about the Council’s Business Incentive Grants, visit

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