A thriving Telford electrical company is creating new jobs after securing £20,000 funding and a superfast broadband connection thanks to the Marches Growth Hub.
Donnington Wood-based WES says it will take on five new members of staff this year after receiving the £20,000 grant through the Business Growth Programme (BGP) and £12,000 from the Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant Scheme, funded by the ERDF, to boost its internet connection.
The company, which supplies products to the electrical coil winding industries and has a turnover of £6.5m and 30 employees, says support from the Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin has been instrumental in helping it expand.
The BGP grant had allowed it to install a fourth production line, boosting productivity by 25 per cent, whilst broadband speeds had increased from around 1.6mb to 30mb.
WES director Mark Robinson praised the work of the growth hub, which is delivered by Telford & Wrekin Council, and account manager Mark Shaw in helping secure the funding.
"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.
Mr Robinson 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.
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.
The Business Growth Programme, 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.