Category: Case Studies

Leeds Based North Brewing Co Raises the Bar with Business Grant Funding Success

Grant Funding

Often referred to as “the first craft beer bar in Britain”, Leeds North Bar is credited with influencing a new wave of craft beer bars and breweries around the country, with many citing North Bar as one of the original driving forces behind the craft beer revolution in the UK.

North Bar in Leeds quickly became renowned for its alternative approach, quirky style and excellent, friendly service – winning the prestigious ‘Best place to drink in Britain’ in the Observer Food Monthly Awards.

Over 20 years, owners John Gyngell & Christian Townsley have increased the North Bar group to a total of 7 venues and in 2015 they turned their 10-year dream of making their own beer into a reality by opening a 15bbl brewery in Leeds, North Brewing Co.

The opportunity for growth was there, with demand outstripping supply for their products. Christian says “Many say this is a great problem to have, but for us, delivering stock on time is crucial – We work hard to maintain our standards of service, and no one wants to let their customers down”

Business Grant funding

John Gyngell (L) and Christian Townsley (R)

Christian and John looked into what support was available to increase their investment potential, and found out about the AD:VENTURE programme, a European Regional Development Funded programme covering the Leeds City Region.

Christian says “I was delighted to announce we had been successful in our application for the grant of £21k. The application process was hard work but regular meetings with my advisor were invaluable and my experience of writing a thorough business plan as a part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme equipped me for what was described to me by the Senior Economic Development Officer as ‘the best he’d seen in a long time’!

I’m sure there are similar programmes for growth business grants around the country. In addition to that, we’ve also been successful in our application for a grant of around £1200 towards acquiring ‘SALSA’, a food safety accreditation which will open up further opportunities to us whilst implementing further controls to ensure our QC

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team, in particular my business partner, our FD and our Head Brewer. For anyone looking to grow their business and generate jobs it’s well worth investing time to research what funding is available”

Brewing capacity is now doubling in October 2017, adding several brewing vessels and enabling the brewery to meet current demand, with their beers are now widely available throughout the UK as well as being exported to eight European countries.

Driven by passion for great beer, this Leeds Brewery comes with an unparalleled wealth of experience, knowledge and existing industry relationships, both in the UK and abroad and their capacity for growth is as great as the worlds love for exceptional craft beer!

 

Leeds entrepreneur builds sustainable future for 3D printing

SME grant

3D printing is a fast-growing disruptive technology. From humble beginnings as a novelty demonstration tool 3D printing has become a growing player in the manufacturing world, as the technology to utilise it becomes faster and more efficient than ever before.

Leeds Entrepreneur of the Year Ravi Toor is all too aware of this. Having graduated with a BA in Environment and Business and Leeds University he saw a need for change in the market, which relies on plastic ‘filaments’ to build models and products.

“There’s a clear environmental need for recycled filament” Ravi said.

90% of all plastics worldwide are derived from non-recyclable sources, so in response to this Ravi founded Filamentive.

Using recycled polymers, the business has quickly gained traction in producing environmentally friendly filaments for the industry.

“I want to transform the 3D printing industry” said Ravi.

“The technology is brilliant, but now it can be sustainable too.”

Ravi approached the AD:Venture business support programme to help him set up his business. AD:Venture Advisor Rebekah Smith supported Ravi with writing a business plan and cash flow forecast, as well as steering him to digital marketing advice for the start-up business.

AD:Venture partner the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) then followed, by delivering start-up funding to boost Filamentive’s stock capacity.

“The business support has been invaluable; not only are we growing, but we’re also improving the sustainability of 3D printing at the same time.” Said Ravi.

“Over the last year’s trading, while I was still finishing my degree, we achieved £50,000 revenue and we’re aiming for six figures in the next 12 months.”

Julie Micklethwaite, BEF Start Up Loans Manager, delivered the funding for Ravi.

“Filamentive is a fantastic example of how to find a gap in a very innovative market. The Start Up Loan we provided has been put to great use, and I’m delighted to see the business thrive.” She said.

Filamentive has since secured a trade deal with Amazon, opening the market to customers in the USA, including schools and manufacturing businesses such as NOA Brands – the world’s largest producer of mannequins.

 

Grant support puts mattress manufacturing venture on path to growth

Business grant support

A manufacturer of pressure relieving products used in the care industry and by the National Health Service is on course for £2 million turnover just eighteen months after the business, set up by entrepreneurs Neil Smith and John Kay started trading.

Herida Healthcare, based at Copley Hill trading estate, manufactures a range of specialised ‘dynamic’ and ‘static’ mattresses and cushions designed to relieve the pressure and friction which can cause pressure ulcers – bed sores – for patients who remain bed-bound for any length of time.

With grant support from the ERDF-funded AD:VENTURE programme, set up to support early stage businesses and help them grow, the company has invested in new manufacturing resource planning equipment, including bar coding and scanning items, which allows full traceability of materials and is a key requirement for suppliers to the NHS.

Specialised ‘bar tacking’ equipment, used to stitch handles onto the mattresses, has also been purchased and a state of the art decontamination unit for cleaning mattress and cushion covers and cells has been installed.

The grant funding, totalling £6,675, is part of a package of support the company has accessed through the LEP Growth Service, designed to help SMEs tap into the broad range of business advice and support programmes available in the Leeds City Region.

Herida Healthcare also received a £5,000 grant from the Digital Enterprise programme, together with support through the Manufacturing Growth Programme towards consultancy costs involved in achieving the ISO 14001 environmental management standard and the latest ISO 9001 (2015) standard.

Managing director Neil Smith said: “The support we’ve received has been fantastic and has really helped us move the business forward in a number of key areas. We expect to over exceed the turnover target and indeed profitability budgets that we originally set for this year and need to recruit new staff in a number of areas as a result.”

Two new production operatives are set to join the company following completion of the investment and up to seven new jobs, including roles in sales and business development, should be created over the next 12 months.

Herida Healthcare’s innovative product range has won the endorsement of clinicians and industry professionals and is already attracting a great deal of interest from overseas. The company recently shipped its first container to Melbourne and repeat orders could be worth up to £0.7 million per annum.

Operations director John Kay said: “We saw a great opportunity here and we are investing a lot of our own money, energy and time in developing what we think can be a really successful venture.

“But managing cashflow, at the same time as you’re investing in and growing the business is always a challenge, particularly when you are in the early stages. So, the grants and other support we’ve received has made a real difference.”

Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, speaking on behalf of the AD:VENTURE programme said: “Supporting SMEs and new business ventures are the real lifeblood of the Leeds City Region economy – it’s where new jobs and new prosperity comes from so it’s vital that we support them. Relatively small amounts of financial support in the right place and the right time can make a huge difference and help accelerate the growth of businesses like Herida Healthcare.”

AD:VENTURE supports launch of innovative new tech business

Business support

Remind2Find launches online gift platform that keeps on giving!

The founders of Remind2Find have taken their pioneering shopping platform to the next level after teaming up with Futurelabs and the AD:VENTURE business support programme to take part in an innovative workshop programme designed to take new business ideas into reality.

Supporting early stage or first time tech entrepreneurs or teams with an idea or a product not yet ready for an accelerator or to raise funding, the funded programme was delivered free to businesses by Emma Cheshire, Co-Founder of Futurelabs, bringing a number of specialists to Unity Works in Wakefield to deliver specific content over a 4 week period in March and April 2017.

Launched in August, Remind2Find is a smart shopping platform that takes the guesswork out of buying for other people. After creating and sharing profiles with family and friends, users receive convenient reminders before an occasion along with inspiration on what to buy.  Profiles can be fully personalised to include favourite brands and retailers, links to wish lists or, for those who don’t want anything, alternatives such as going for a drink or charitable donations.

Steven Binnion, co-founder, says “91% of people shop in a rush at the last minute and only 23% have received a great gift in the last year, so there is significant room for improvement. As fast paced as the world is now, consumers really value services that actually save them time and stress!

After a period of slow progress setting up the business, I looked for a workspace that offered informal mentoring. Futurelabs became an obvious choice, having a genuine interest in real grassroots start-ups and an understanding of what they need.

Whilst working from the space at Futurelabs helped us to recover some momentum, the opportunity to receive structured mentoring and support through the FutureStart workshop programme tipped the balance. We quickly validated and spotted some gaps in work we had done. Most importantly, we left with a clear plan about what to do next and knowledge of people who could help us. Without this I fear we could still be refining our service rather than trialling it and getting customer feedback”

Steven, and his co-founder, Marc Mills are now working hard on the launch of the live platform and will continue working with the AD:VENTURE programme and the Futurelabs team as the business launches and begins its exciting growth journey with ambitions to take the platform to a worldwide audience.

Funded by the European Regional Development fund, AD:VENTURE enables businesses to grow through support such as expert mentoring, grants, professional workshops, finance brokerage, incubator office space and peer to peer learning.

Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “We are delighted to see businesses already benefitting from the opportunities and connections a regional programme like AD:VENTURE can offer. The programme was developed to help businesses just like Remind2Find to get off to the best and most informed start, and this is a fantastic example of how this type of programme works to boost the growth of SMEs in our region”

Artisan Baking Starts Rise to Growth Challenge with a Business Funding Grant

Business funding grant

Award-winning Leeds based artisan bakery Tarte and Berry have shown commitment to the company’s continued growth by harnessing the support of a regional business programme and accessing a £15,000 grant towards costs of relocating to a new premise suited to their ambitious growth plans.

Named as one of Yorkshire Business Insider’s ’42 under 42’ rising stars of business, Tarte & Berry is owned and managed by sisters Jane and Lucy Batham and has seen a rapid rate of growth since it was founded in 2014, more than doubling turnover to £150,000.

Growth grant supports relocation for ambitious PR firm

Business Growth Grants

Up and coming marketing consultancy KC Communications have accessed the AD:VENTURE business support programme to get help towards a move to new premises by successfully securing a grant towards their refurbishment costs.

Formed in 2014 KC Communications, based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire has achieved significant growth since starting up, and were ready for the next step in their expansion plans.

Founder and director of KC Communications, Katrina Cliffe had started her career at 15 as a marketing apprentice and found she had a love for the industry. As she continued her career path after having children, she wanted greater flexibility, but remained ambitious.

“When I started out, I had spent 5 ½ years working for a tech organisation, working from home, they were based in Dublin and I travelled internationally. I had no local business contacts whatsoever, yet in my first month of establishing the business I had 4 clients on board”

Fast forward two and a half years and in a short time, Katrina had grown her team to 5, but faced a classic challenge for a thriving new business… they were rapidly outgrowing their space as they expanded and needed solutions to give them room to grow.

Wakefield business commits to quality through skills funding

Start-up Funding 1

Businesses in Wakefield and across the Leeds City Region are benefitting from over £2 million worth of training grants thanks to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The funding has supported the training of over 600 businesses, enabling them to invest in the development of their workforce.