A Telford-based battery pack manufacturer and distributor which was formed by industry specialists in 2010, will increase its capacity, operational efficiency, productivity and workforce following a period of sustained growth which has enabled it to successfully secure a grant from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
For Stafford Park-based AceOn Group, this means that a much-needed extension to its existing facility has been made possible – a development which will transform its future growth potential.The grant, worth £80,000, is part of the Marches Building Investment Grant (MBIG) which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It is aimed at funding extensions, renovations and reconfigurations to commercial premises so that businesses can realise growth.
Founded in 2010 by a team with over 25 years’ experience in the battery industry, AceOn Group has enjoyed significant growth since and as Alex Thompson, Sales Director, explains, the future prosperity of the business was hinged on it being able to scale up quickly:
"Increased focus on, and importance of, electric vehicles and energy storage methods have meant that the entire battery sector has grown phenomenally in recent years. Our depth of experience in the market meant that we were well placed to capitalise on this growth, but soon after we set up in Telford, we knew that physical expansion would be necessary to fully realise this.
"Owning the land that our existing facility stands on meant extending was always in our sights, but we realistically couldn’t take this forward until sufficient funding was in place."
As members of Telford Business Board, Alex and his fellow Directors at AceOn found out about the MBIG funding and decided to look in to whether it would meet their needs. Alex continues:
"The application process for this funding was rigorous but given the amount we’ve been awarded, it needed to be, and we certainly didn’t find it unduly onerous. Simply, without it we’d have not been able to expand our facilities, take on more staff and put the foundations in place for what we’re confident is a period of continued growth."
Cllr Richard Overton, Deputy Leader, Telford & Wrekin Council, comments:
"This is more positive news for another local company and it’s great that Telford & Wrekin Council’s own Business Support Service, Enterprise Telford, identified the grant and then supported Alex and his team through the application process.
"This type of support really does make the difference between remaining static and enjoying sustained growth and its great to see AceOn bringing new employment opportunities to Telford."
Three new jobs have already been created because of AceOn’s expansion and it is anticipated that another three will be confirmed in the coming few months.
Caroline Cattle, Grant Manager, adds:
"The team at AceOn has utilised its depth of experience in the battery market to grow a business that continues to have ambitious future growth aspirations. It is a small organisation that has demonstrated a commitment to the fundamentals of business growth, but which has required support to make its visions a reality. It has been a pleasure to support them through this process."
The £2.5m Marches Building Investment Grant is open to businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
Open to all B2B businesses, the scheme awards grants of up to 45% of the total project costs (to a maximum £100,000) which are intended to cover conversion and alteration costs. They cannot be used towards purchasing property, equipment, or ‘excessive’ landscaping costs. Nor can they be made retrospectively.
Applicants to the Marches Building Investment Grant can be either owner-occupiers or tenants although for the latter, they must have a fixed term lease with at least six years unexpired.
Residential property is exempt as are agricultural, horticultural, retail and hospitality buildings.
The scheme is expected to attract up to £3m in private sector investment in the region and lead to the creation of 130 jobs. It has been part funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme, 2014-2020 and all projects must be completed by August 2019.
Herefordshire Council is the accountable body for the scheme. Full details are available from Caroline Cattle and Alison Rogers on [email protected] or by calling the Marches Growth Hub team on 0345 6000 727.