Business boosted after securing grant
A.S Whitaker & Sons, a South Holland vehicle repair firm, has increased its turnover, improved efficiency and expanded into other markets after securing a grant aimed at supporting local businesses.
Established in 1920, and currently employing 46 people from their base at Pinchbeck, the business specialises in vehicle bodywork repairs. With ambition to grow further they approached Grants4Growth July looking for support to buy the paint spraying equipment needed to help them diversify and grow their order book.
The initiative, which is run by South Holland District Council and funded by the European Regional Development Fund, was set up specifically to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Greater Lincolnshire to invest in their future, grow and create local jobs.
After seeing an article about Grants4Growth in the local press, Phil Whitaker, a partner with the firm decided to get in touch and was surprised by the swift speed of the application process.
Phil said: "Our main focus was to build our capacity so we could take on more work. We knew we needed to invest significantly in new machinery which in turn meant that we would be looking to introduce more employees to the business.
"I thought that the grant application process would be long and complicated, but in the end it was quick and easy and we got a decision in a very short period of time. It took only a couple of weeks from sending in our application through to getting the nod that we'd been successful - I couldn't praise it more!"
He added: "The grant has given us the chance to grow and expand into new markets, improve our efficiency, increase our turnover and create local jobs."
Grants4Growth offers eligible businesses grant funding towards the cost of purchasing machinery, equipment and other physical business assets. It can provide funding of up to 28% of the total costs, with grants of between £1,000 and £25,000.
The grant is available to all eligible business based within the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership area, including North and North East Lincs, who have plans to grow and need to invest in capital assets to make it happen.
The eligibility criteria for the grant application include:
Businesses with a turnover of less than £44 million a year
Businesses who employ less than 250 employees
To date the Grants4Growth programme has approved over 40 applications for grant funding, committing over £300,000. 20 companies have completed their purchase of new equipment, accessing over £140,000 and already creating 15 new jobs.
Some examples of the type of machinery purchased using Grants4Growth funds include Spray booths, CNC machines, Industrial Printers, Prototype Tooling, Packaging equipment and Forklift trucks.
Businesses can apply to access the Grants4Growth funding opportunity through their online expression of interest form at grants4growth.sholland.gov.uk.