Published: January 23rd, 2019
A specialist Herefordshire manufacturer is creating new jobs and enjoying sustained growth thanks to help from the Marches Growth Hub.
Ledbury-based Galebreaker – which makes ventilation screens and doors for the agricultural industry, power stations and the oil and gas sector – says it has recruited a dozen new staff over the last 18 months with more to come this year.
The company, which now employs 47 people and exports its hi-tech products around the world, saw turnover soar by 15 per cent last year and is on target to achieve a similar level of growth this year.
Managing director Jeremy Scudamore said a raft of help offered by the Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire had helped the company meet its expansion targets.
"We were put in touch with the growth hub by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and the help we have been given has been excellent," he said.
The growth hub had helped secure a £78,280 Building Investment Grant, £30,000 Business Growth Programme grant and more than £15,000 under the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP).
Mr Scudamore said the Building Investment Grant had helped fund a new extension and allowed it to reconfigure the existing space to boost production and improve staff facilities. It had also created a goods-out building at which it can store three lorry-loads of deliveries to improve efficiency.
Alongside this, the company wanted to invest in a new state-of-the-art welding machine which would work eight-times faster than its existing machinery. The BGP grant was secured with support from the Growth Hub as part of a three-year expansion plan.
Galebreaker was also keen to lower its carbon footprint and make energy savings through improved efficiency, resulting in a successful application to the BEEP programme, which was recommended to them by the Growth Hub.
It received a £15,000 grant – 40 per cent of the cost of work identified by an independent energy survey – to replace every light with LED lighting and install four special fans to distribute heat more efficiently.
Mr Scudamore said the extension and reconfiguration of the factory would be completed by March 2019 and create an additional five new jobs.
The BGP grant had allowed the company to invest in a Moduline Hot Air Welding Machine – raising productivity and creating three new jobs.
Meanwhile company director Keith Hardie said the new lighting and fans were already having a huge impact, having been installed in just three weeks.
"We will have regained our investment within two years and would highly recommend the BEEP programme," said Keith.
The Business Growth Programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Birmingham City Council, 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.