North-east horror entertainment business Northern Frights targets blood-curdling growth after tapping into support
Northern Frights was founded earlier this year by Laura Ripley after she left a 14-year career in oil and gas, initially aiming to bring entertainment horror events to North-east Scotland, and the venture has since expanded to horror escape rooms, conventions, prop, and costume-making, as well as blogging and social media. However, she explains that her firm was one of many in events industry struck by the pandemic, so she approached Business Gateway to develop a solid financial plan to enable her to grow her brand and improve her business resilience.
As a result, she received one-to-one support from a local adviser to help identify and exploit current and future sales opportunities, while Business Gateway’s start-up services provided advice on developing a business plan, marketing, and applying for funding. She also received £1,000 from the Local Authority Covid Economic Recovery fund, Aberdeenshire Council’s start-up grant scheme, and she implemented advice provided at Business Boost masterclasses on sales and strategy.
Northern Frights explains that it is the online home of Horror Con Scotland, the only horror convention to be held in Scotland this year, and Ms Ripley has booked the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen for next year’s event, which is expected to be three times the size of this year’s, and Peterhead Prison Museum for a prison-themed breakout event, with a Goblin King Fantasy Ball set for November 2023.
The entrepreneur said: “I never imagined that my original intention of producing massive horror events for the public would grow into a horror entertainment business. To begin with, I was overwhelmed, and it can be intimidating to do it all without guidance, which is why I approached Business Gateway... I [now] feel more confident in what I am doing and in taking Northern Frights to future growth during Halloween and beyond.”
Keith Smith of Business Gateway said: “Laura has created a hugely popular and enjoyable entertainment business for horror fans. She was very open to working collaboratively to develop new ideas and opportunities. Laura has built a strong business acumen, especially around financial planning, which should stand her in great stead for the future.”
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