My journey started after meeting Jon Brunton at Humber Business Growth Hub in early 2017. He pointed me in the right direction to obtain support with my business. Jon has been an excellent support with his knowledge and contacts, as I produce a unique product in a very niche market.
Jon pointed me to a seminar ‘The Humber SME Manufacturing Growth Hub’. The speakers gave a great insight into the support and grants available and told the audience to tap into as many as you can because that’s what they are there for… to help business growth. That’s just what I did. This is where I met Neil Harriman (Manufacturing for Growth) and where I found out about the availability of funding for my business.
I was put in contact with Spark Fund and HCUK training. Sparkfund is looking to support me with the logistics side of my business, innovation, intellectual property and looking at reusable green packaging. HCUK Training were able to tell me know about the Skills Support for the Workforce funding available, and sourced my first bespoke training course in Mould making; the moulds enable me to cast my products which reduces the lead times dramatically.
After the success of the first training I was put into contact with the SSW Project Co-ordinator who has now supported me in funding my second bespoke training course, which we started at the end of July. This bespoke training has given KG Yorkshire the opportunity to bring in the expertise of Acrylic 1, a company in the Netherlands. They have come to the UK and show us how to use specific pigment mixes in moulds. I am looking forward to how this will improve and change the way we work as a company.
We currently supply high-end Art and Antiquity dealers on a very small scale. We will upscale sales and marketing and production in the very near future because of the confidence we have gained through our bespoke SSW training. The training has allowed us to produce outstanding quality products with very short lead times, and given us the confidence to reach out to a wider market i.e. museums, private collectors, high end hotels, interior designers and galleries.
Darren Roberts (East Riding Enterprise) also helped me access a £1,000 grant towards a rota cast machine. Darren was extremely helpful and gave me some great advice when we met, and he made the whole application a very quick and easy process.
All the above organisations and their staff have been an absolutely essential part of support for me and my business, and have definitely helped the acceleration of growth, which is very much appreciated.
Basically what SSW funding has enabled my company to do is not only become a master in such a niche market but dramatically increase our productivity. Initially before the training we had a 3–4 week turnaround to create one pedestal; it now takes us around 24 hours!
SSW funding has really been ideal and just what we needed and has had a massive positive effect, so thank you!
My next Steps are to look at marketing my niche products, and looking with HCUK at more SSW funded courses within Marketing / Social Media / Excel and Branding for me and my company to grow even more.
– Dale Waterson, KG Yorkshire