ENTREPRENEUR Tracey Horan’s quirky furniture business has come on LEAPs and bounds since winning a local award last year.

Tracey won the LEAP Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 for her business Dolly Fixtures which uses mannequins to create functional furniture with a difference.

LEAP (Local Enterprise and Apprenticeship Platform) was created by Lewes District Council in 2013 to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the training and support they need to make their business ideas a reality.

Every year, one person is chosen as Entrepreneur of the Year and wins £2,500 cash plus access to free support and guidance from a team of experts.

In addition to some high-profile commissions, Tracey was selected to showcase at Spotted, part of Top Drawer, the UK’s leading retail trade event for creative lifestyle businesses.

Only a few innovative businesses that are new to the trade fair market are chosen every year for Spotted.

Tracey is now in talks with a high-end department store about using her products for their visual displays next year and commissions include the creation of Batman and Robin figures now standing sentry at the doors of a London pub.

Tracey said: “Taking part in the LEAP programme was so helpful in every way to get my business modal right.

“Winning the money was a bonus and enabled me to invest in trialling my pieces with different finishes and materials sooner than I hoped.”

Stephen Holt, on behalf of Edeal Enterprise Agency who deliver the programme said “Over the last two years we successfully supported over 50 people who wanted to start their business in the Lewes area.

“Their businesses ranged from leisure hosts to artists, health and safety experts to lifestyle coaches, landscape gardeners to retailers.

“So if you live in the Lewes District Council area and you have a business dream then just get in touch.”