A NEWPORT chip shop owner who is following in his father’s footsteps has given his business a refurbishment thanks to a Welsh Government loan.

Former sales manager Rehan Rasul re-launched and refurbished the Salt and Vinegar fish and chip shop, on Malpas Road, after receiving a £15,000 start-up loan.

It is Mr Rasul’s first business venture but the chip shop hopeful said he plans to expand the chain across the city.

He said: “I’d love to open a chain of Salt and Vinegar shops across Newport but, for the moment, I’m concentrating on promoting my current shop to locals and want to make it the chippie of choice.”

The Welsh Government’s Business Wales Start Up Service, which provides additional funding and low interest loans to entrepreneurs, has helped nearly 300 business since they were launched in October 2013.

Mr Rasul acquired the shop, which was already a thriving business, as a going concern in November last year, but could only finish getting it ready for business thanks to the £15,000.

Mr Rasul, whose father used to own and run his own fish and chip shop business, now has five years to pay back the loans which are set at a fixed rate of interest.

He said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to be my own boss. My father had run a successful fish and chip shop before he retired and he’s over the moon to see me follow in those same footsteps.

“Whilst leaving the security of a full-time role was daunting at first, the support and the investment from Start Up Loan Company, the bank and my family gave me the boost I needed and also the finances to acquire the business, as well as to make my own mark on it straight away.”

Mr Rasul, who worked in a renewable energies company for 12 years, had purchased the business and property last year thanks to a Lloyds TSB loan, but the Start Up loan mean he could finish the refurbishments.

He said: “Since opening in January this year, we have had a fantastic reception from locals, who were familiar with the previous business, and we have been busy every day. Long may that continue.”