Larger can contracts on horizon thanks to £30,000 grant support
“The support we have had has been fantastic and thanks to grant funding, we have been able grow much more quickly and create even more jobs.”
Andy Hughes, Managing Director, WeCan Solutions
- £30,000 grant support from the BusinessGrowth Programme
- 2m extra cans a year filled thanks to investment in new machinery
- new jobs created as the company fulfils larger orders
WeCan Solutions provides contract canning services for small to medium-size beverage producers by taking the canning line to their production site.
However as well as canning, WeCan offers a full service to include labelling – from design to application on the cans themselves – as well as packing at the brewery or manufacturing site. It can also assist with contract brewing and processing. It has two sites in Herefordshire, a canning site and a labelling facility at Rotherwas.
Contracting WeCan to bring in its mobile canning line avoids the brewer or beverage maker from having to commit to significant investment, as well as the training, maintenance and space demands of running their own line.
The business challenge
WeCan Solutions is Europe’s largest small-scale contract can packer. However the company was keen to develop the business and take on larger contracts.
However, investment was needed in new equipment to help WeCan secure larger contracts and the company had already planned significant investment itself in a new canning and filling machine.
Managing director Andy Hughes said: “We have canning facilities in Holland, in Ireland and five which tour the UK, and we deal with breweries which are some of the biggest in the country right through to smaller ones which don’t have their own canning facilities.
“We needed to expand our canning lines in order to cope with increased market demand.”
How the Marches Growth Hub helped
The new £33m Business Growth Programme (BGP) is promoted in Herefordshire through the Marches Growth Hub, based at the University of Wolverhampton’s Business Solutions Centre in Rotherwas. Staff at the centre signposted WeCan to the fund, enabling them to access capital investment support.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, managed by Birmingham City Council and delivered by The Marches Growth Hub, the BGP awarded a £30,000 grant from the BGP’s Business Innovation Programme to buy a canning/filling machine – a move which has also created three new jobs. It is capable of filling an additional 2,000,000 cans per year, allowing the company to fulfil larger contracts.
Mr Hughes added: “From the BGP, the grant we received enabled us to purchase another canning line and it has transformed the company. We were able to create three new jobs initially but there has been a multiplier effect as other aspects of the company have grown because of the increasedcapacity.
“The grant has enabled us to leapfrog and move forward much more quickly.”