A LIVERPOOL based company will assist budding entrepreneurs in 2016 by donating office space free of charge to Sefton based start-up businesses. Local businessman Kevin Murphy, director at Rent a Space Ltd is himself a former start-up entrepreneur who knows how hard it can be for new businesses to create, sustain and develop a brand. Now he wants to use his success to help the next generation of entrepreneurs. The businessman is currently enrolled on Spark Up, a free business accelerator programme organised by Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Natwest. It offers a 12-week long programme of support and advice for start-ups, including mentoring, training and pitch development. Kevin said: “It’s a well-known statistic that half of all new start-ups fail to survive beyond five years. One of the reasons for this is the cost of running a business and in particular the rental costs associated with building premises – and this is where I can offer help. “By giving start-ups a base to work from free of charge, hopefully they won’t have to worry about additional costs and instead be able to concentrate on making their new business a success. “I know first-hand how challenging it can be when setting up your own business. Being involved with the Liverpool Chamber’s Spark Up programme has really helped me understand the value of support and advice and now I am able to help start-ups just like myself.” Liverpool has seen a surge in new businesses in the last year. Statistics show over six thousand new companies were registered in Liverpool in 2014. Based on Dunningsbridge Road, Rent A Space provides self-storage, office and commercial space solutions within its 40,000sqft building which Kevin purchased in the summer of 2015. The building has since overseen an extensive programme of refurbishment and improvement to create an environment suited to the demands of modern day business start-ups. Since officially opening for business in September this year, Rent A Space has welcomed more than 60 new customers in less than 120 days. Kevin added: “Our take up rate since opening, particularly for business storage units has been very pleasing. The prominence of the building helps communicate the brand, but word of mouth about our range and flexibility has been the biggest contributor to these figures.” Kevin is hoping offer the support through the Liverpool and Sefton Chamber of Commerce and Invest Sefton, the business support service of Sefton Council. New business owners interested in his scheme can gather further information by contacting Kevin on 0151 541 0999.