A ‘BANK of Bournemouth’ will be up and running and offering business loans to entrepreneurs by the end of next month, it has been confirmed.

Bournemouth council said it has been boosted by the positive response to its plans to start offering mortgages and business loans and by the full business plan, which forecasts a return of between £6.9m and £24.2m over 10 years.

The council also advertised in the Financial Times for non-executive directors and has received a ‘considerable amount of interest’.

Executive director Liz Wilkinson told cabinet members: “I’ve spoken to five people so far who have expressed an interest in acting as a non-executive co-optee.

“All of them I would say would be admirable candidates for the council to consider.

“Some have Bournemouth connections but mostly they are out of the area and would be coming in from other sectors.

“This would give us a fresh independent pair of eyes which will be critical to make sure this is run in a professional and robust way in the future.”

The council will invest £15m from its resources to start the scheme and will start offering business loans next month and mortgages from January 2014.

It’s anticipated the Bank of Bournemouth will complete three to four mortgages a month in the first year, rising to 15 to 20 by year five, and 15 business loans a month, rising to 60 in year five.

Council leader John Beesley said the scheme would give ‘a leg up’ to first-time buyers and business owners.

“The council is using its resources to enable that to happen and to be supportive of those people within our local Bournemouth community.

“It’s therefore the right thing for the council to be doing at this particular moment,” he said.