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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June, 2004, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Serving up business success
Colin Pritchard
Colin describes his cuisine as 'European with a Welsh influence'
A Gwynedd restaurant is the latest venture for an investment company which is celebrating 18 years helping local small businesses.

The takeover of Granville's in Criccieth was backed by Arianrhod.

The company was set up in 1986 with the backing of 70 businesspeople and investors and now owns and leases out seven properties in Gwynedd and Anglesey.

Arianrhod aims to encourage local entrepreneurs, who could not otherwise afford to buy or rent premises.

Buildings also include the old town hall in Caernarfon, which is leased or rented to different charities.

Colin Pritchard, who spent five years as head chef at Portmeirion, took over the restaurant and rents the building in his home town from the company.

'Increasingly difficult'

"I'd heard about Arianrhod and how they provided local people with an opportunity to set up their own businesses and so got in touch with them," he said.

"About the same time Granville's also went up for sale and we decided that it would be ideal premises for me and for them," he added.

After a winter refurbishment, the restaurant will extend its opening hours to seven days during the tourist season.

Merfyn Jones Evans of Arianrhod said they have also been able to help other businesses, including an internet cafe in Caernarfon and a jewellers in Holyhead

He said: "Small businesses often find banks require 40% up front before they will consider a loan - with property prices rising through the roof, it is becoming increasingly difficult for local people to get their businesses off the ground."

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