Telford company creates new jobs and boosts productivity
“We would not be where we are today without the help of the Growth Hub team. There is nobody greater than the guys at the Growth Hub.” Mark Robinson, Director, WES.
- £20,000 Business Growth Programme grant helps fund new production line
- Five new jobs to be created over the next year
- Production capacity increased by 25 per cent
- Superfast broadband helps company boost efficiency thanks to Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant Scheme, funded by ERDF
Telford-based WES was founded by Mike Robinson as Wire Electric Supplies Ltd in 1990 with the sole objective of providing the best service, quality and product range to the electrical coil winding industries.
The company has enjoyed continued growth throughout its life and now has a turnover of £6.5m and employs 30 people.
Indeed, such has been the demand for its products, the company turned to the Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin, for advice and support to help it install a fourth production line and superfast broadband to boost production capacity.
How the Marches Growth Hub helped
The company had plans to invest £120,000 in a fourth production line to help it meet increased demand and first heard about the growth hub through Telford & Wrekin Council.
Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin account manager Mark Shaw was able to identify grant funding through the Business Growth Programme and worked with WES director Mark Robinson to secure a £20,000 Business Development Programme Grant.
The Business Growth Programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is managed by Birmingham City Council and offers grants of between £20,000 and £167,000 for small and medium-sized businesses through a range of funding schemes designed to help them grow and target new markets.
But WES was also being hampered by poor broadband speeds which meant it could not work as efficiently as possible.
As a result, Mark Shaw helped the company successfully apply for £12,000 funding through the Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant Scheme, funded by ERDF, and it now enjoys a superfast connection of 30mb – compared to the 1.6mb connection it previously experienced.
The Growth Hub, which is delivered by Telford & Wrekin Council, also supported WES with its plans for a 4,000sq ft extension due for completion early next year by offering advice over the design and planning process.
Mark Robinson could not be happier with the results of the funding the Growth Hub has helped WES achieve.
He had originally intended to take on two new members of staff once the extra production line was in place, but now says headcount will grow to 35 over the next 12 months as demand for the company’s products continues to grow.
The new production line has boosted capacity at the site by 25 per cent and is more than proving its worth as WES continues to win new business both nationally and internationally.
“We could not have achieved this without the help of the Growth Hub, who have been terrific. What really surprised me about the BGP grant was how straightforward it was,” said Mark.
“Mark Shaw was very helpful and filled in any gaps we needed help with. I have been able to take advantage of free face-to-face meetings with Mark which has helped ensure he can update me on new opportunities at all times.”
And Mr Robinson says the difference the superfast broadband has made to the company is ‘like night and day’.
“Mark Shaw told me all about the scheme and because of the slow speeds we had been experiencing I was immediately interested. The difference the new superfast connection has made to the company is tremendous,” Mark added.
Production machines can now be connected to the network, allowing remote access to the machines for repairs, analysis and function adjustment.
Claire Critchell and Mandy Swain, from the Growth Hub, are already looking at what additional help they can give WES as part of their ongoing support.
Options being considered include potential grant funding towards a £300,000 investment in a new insulation taping line used for insulating electrical conductors used in large generators to allow the business to grow still further and create another three new jobs.
“I will continue to have regular conversations with the team so that we can identify further opportunities,” said Mark. “I could spend all day on my computer trying to find funding with no success, but there is nobody greater than the guys at the Growth Hub for identifying opportunities I don’t even know about.”