A Featherstone-based property developer has created a new social hub featuring an artisan coffee shop and sandwich bar, as well as a high-specification hair and beauty salon, in a project that has breathed new life into a redundant site in Castleford.

The new Livelihub on Methley Road, close to the town centre, is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Craig Mitchell, owner of Carter & Co. Property Solutions. The new venture, which has created four new jobs, was brought to fruition through funding of £100,000 arranged by Reward Finance Group.

The new business aims to provide a contemporary setting for eating, drinking and socialising through its carefully selected range of high quality freshly brewed coffee, food and other drinks. The extensive redevelopment project of the former workshop and storage space, which had been derelict for twenty years, also features a salon for Luxe Professional Hairdressing, with space for five barbers.

Reward Finance Group, who was introduced to Carter & Co. by Brian Snape, owner of Mighty Oak Business and Property Finance, enabled Craig to bring his development plans to fruition with a short-term bridging loan. This allowed the property conversion work to be completed in as short a timeframe as possible, preventing any delays in the opening of Livelihub.

Craig Mitchell, director of Carter & Co. Property Solutions, will manage the Livelihub business as part his growing business portfolio, said: “It is fantastic to be able to realise our ambitions for this prominent site in Castleford and create a social hub unlike anything else in the town. The new salon is an exciting venture too, offering a high specification space in a superb location that immediately attracted hairdressing professionals who loved the concept of working within Livelihub.

“Being able to access £100k on a short term basis through Reward has been really beneficial to the project. Their approach is refreshing and one that I haven’t previously experienced from the major banks, with a great dedication to getting to know my business and understand what we need to grow and thrive.”

Karen Paige, Reward Finance Group’s associate director, added: “Craig has identified an excellent business opportunity here with Livelihub given the growth in café culture and the demand for high quality commercial premises in smaller town communities like Castleford. We are delighted to be able to support the business through our Business Finance product, which is ideal for clients like Carter & Co. who require a short-term working capital facility to be able to progress with their growth plans whatever they may be.”