WINCHESTER civic chiefs have been pleased by the take up of new grants aimed at helping apprentices and boosting small businesses.

Some 20 enquiries and six applications have been made for apprenticeship grants that offer help to youngsters with clothing, fuel and travel costs.

The city council has also had nine applications for grants of up to £1,000 to micro businesses.

Cllr Robert Humby, portfolio holder for strat-egic planning and economic development, said both schemes had been successful since their summer launch and both could be expanded.