Council helps businesses prosper from Business Growth Programme funding
Telford & Wrekin Council has helped two more Telford businesses secure Business Growth Programme (BGP) funding which is helping them to go from strength-to-strength during challenging financial times.
The council’s business support team, Invest Telford, has worked closely with a range of companies across the borough since April 2019 to help them access a series of grants and funding streams.
Fence panel manufacturer Premier Garden Supplies has revolutionised its manufacturing processes by purchasing cutting edge machinery and equipment.
Two new automated fence panel machines and a robotic cross cut saw has made the firm’s wood cutting process five times faster.
The funding has also helped to buy four other small machines and all the new equipment has made manufacturing more affordable and improved efficiency across the business.
Meanwhile plastics recycling firm Samplas Ltd have used the cash windfall to purchase new items of machinery including a granulator, a bailer and a forklift truck.
The granulator and bailer have both helped to double the firm’s production levels – allowing more scrap plastics to be stripped down and bailed ready for redistribution.
Paul Sharp, Premier Garden Supplies Director, said: “We’re now in our tenth year and this business was founded by myself and my wife in our back garden.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with this funding which has enabled us to transform our day-to-day operations.
“The machinery we’ve purchased is helping us to produce fence panels which are of a much higher quality and the turnaround on products is much quicker. The new machinery has also led to the creation of several new operating jobs.
“The machinery puts us at the forefront of this manufacturing sector and staff morale is also very high as a result of the machines we’ve implemented.
“We’re very grateful to Elliot Payne and the Invest Telford team who helped us every step of the way and went above and beyond to help us get the funding over the line.
“Although we had to match the funding as part of the application, there is no way we would have been able to introduce this new machinery without the BGP grant.”
BGP is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and supports small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, designed to strengthen supply chains, stimulate innovation and help businesses grow.
The BGP is managed by Birmingham City Council and accounts for £1.98m in grant support creating 200 jobs in Telford and Wrekin to date.
There is currently a healthy pipeline of projects which will develop more jobs in the borough over the coming months until the programme closes in June 2023.
It is one of the many funding stream and programmes the Invest Telford team have been able to signpost to and support businesses to access.
Following a successful BGP application, Sam Woods, Director at Samplas Ltd, said: “We’re delighted with the BGP funding which has enabled us to upgrade our machinery and double our productivity.
“These new machines are making a huge difference to the recycling work we do but we couldn’t have purchased them without this funding.
“We’re so grateful to the Invest Telford team who have been fantastic from start to finish – guiding us through the application process and helping us to secure the funding to turn the dream of buying new machinery into reality.
“These are tough times for many businesses but I’d recommend the team to other businesses because calling on their support and expertise could unlock additional funding to support business growth and make day-to-day operations much more efficient.”
In November, the Invest Telford team launched a new microsite which offers support and advice for businesses.
A section of the site is dedicated to business operating costs and sustainability to help them navigate challenges.
Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, Regeneration and the High Street, said: “Our Invest Telford team continues to support local businesses, helping them access additional funding which can help them to grow and increase productivity.
“It’s fantastic to see how Samplas Ltd and Premier Garden Supplies have both used the funding to excellent effect and it is helping them to expand and increase their output.
“During the cost of living crisis and these challenging times, we are pleased that we can help local businesses access additional financial support which can be invaluable to them.”
You can find out more about the support that Invest Telford offers local businesses here.
Photo: Premier Garden Supplies Director Jo Lovell with Cllr Lee Carter.