The UK’s largest envelope manufacturer is predicting an increase in productivity and profit following a £20,000 grant that has allowed it to invest in new machinery for its Shropshire plant.
The Mail Solutions Group has converted an existing production line into one capable of addressing the evolving direct mail market, thanks to a total £70,000 investment.
It was supported in its grant application by the Marches Growth Hub, the business support service developed by the Marches LEP. The funding was awarded from the European Regional Development Fund’s Business Growth Programme, available to businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
The new £70,000 production line means the firm, which has a base in Halesfield in Telford, should increase its sales to the direct mail market by at least two per cent, leading to a rise in annual operating profit of £120,000.
The Mail Solutions Group is the largest envelope manufacturer in the UK, with additional sites in Llangollen, Blackburn and Romford, and a yearly turnover of £30m. It also holds dominant positions in the markets for direct mail base stationery and tickets, which are made at its factory in Corby.
The Business Growth Programme 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.
Karl Lee, Director at Mail Solutions said: "Direct mail volumes are starting to recover following a battle with digital marketing over the past 10 years or so.
"Our customers see that email marketing campaigns in isolation simply don’t work, and are returning to traditional forms of communication through the post in order to get their marketing messages across in a cost effective manner.
"The grant has enabled us to capitalise on this trend and adapt our production line accordingly so we can capture a larger share of this market.
"We were also able to directly employ two new quality control and packing supervisors as a result. The addition of this specific service will also support our long term overall plans for sustainable growth."
The Business Growth Programme is promoted in Shropshire by the Marches Growth Hub, which supported the firm in its application.
Yasmin Sulaman, from the Marches Growth Hub, added: "The Business Growth Programme exists to support SMEs off all sizes.
"This grant from the programme’s Business Development Fund has allowed the firm to devise a solution that will hopefully take it into new markets and provide more employment opportunities in years to come.
"We are keen to hear from any organisation that wants to learn more about whether the Business Growth Programme funding schemes can help it achieves its aims."
The Marches Growth Hub can provide guidance and support to businesses at all stages of application process. More information is available on the Marches Growth Hub website, www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/BGP, via the MGH helpline on 0345 6000 727 or by emailing [email protected].