This company accessed Growth Hub support via its local Growth Hub advisor between September 2017 and February 2018. The company is an ambitious ‘scale-up’ potential business and specialises in the creation and wholesale of orthotics (abdominal support and joint-braces) equipment for the healthcare sector. The MD, Rebecca Smith, contacted the Growth Hub advisor for Hull in September 2017 to request information about any grant funding that would be available to help renovate the existing factory premises to achieve greater efficiencies and to implement LEAN processes. The advisor subsequently met with Rebecca and the factory redevelopment plans were discussed in more detail, and a business needs diagnostic carried out. This resulted in the advisor supporting Rebecca to make an ‘Expression of Interest’ to the Humber LEP ‘Growing the Humber’ capital grant scheme, which was accepted, and a full application was invited by the LEP. The advisor provided intensive support to the company to assist in the creation of a business plan, financial forecasts, and a full grant application, which was submitted to the LEP in December 2017. The application was approved in January 2018 and the business was awarded a grant totalling £12,953, which constituted a 30% intervention toward a £43,000 factory refurbishment project, which resulted in the creation of two additional full time jobs within the business. The advisor was also able to broker the company into the following schemes:

  • The ESF-funded Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) Programme for factory staff to receive fully-funded training. The company management and directors also received training on LEAN processes to dovetail in with the factory refurbishment.
  • The ERDF-funded SparkFund programme to discuss the potential for a R&D grant to help develop a UK market-leading 3-D scanned orthotics-fitting system, which at the time of writing is still under consideration.
  • The ERDF-funded Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) to allow the company to access a 35% grant to part-cover the cost of a manufacturing consultant creating a bespoke report on how to best implement LEAN processes within the factory.

The company has therefore a solid platform for growth in place for the 2018-2019 financial year as a result of the Growth Hub support received during the period of engagement in 2017 and 2018.