Tag: Ad:venture

COVID-19 Business Support

UPDATED 9.6.2020

We are regularly updating this page to keep you updated on the latest guidance and support relating to Covid-19.

There is a lot of information and support available, and if you need guidance on any aspect, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

One-To One support

For current clients, please get in touch if you are need advice or support. If you are not sure who your advisor is, you can email support@ad-venture.org.uk 

New clients, register at www.ad-venture.org.uk/register 

Workshops and Events

AD:VENTURE events scheduled for the foreseeable future will be delivered in a virtual way to enable us to continue delivering this valuable workshop content to you.

We are still keeping numbers limited and ensuring you have the opportunity to interact, so please check and book your places so you do not miss out.

The first webinars are now LIVE and can be booked via the events page

***NEW UPDATES***

Government launches NHS Test and Trace Service

Details of the Test and Trace service can be viewed HERE.

NHS Test and Trace – workplace guidance

Details of the Test and Trace work place guidance can be viewed HERE.

Working safely during COVID-19

The Government has produced ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. The new guidance covers eight workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways.

WIDER NATIONAL AND REGIONAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE:

Regional Support:

For information and support, businesses in Leeds City Region concerned or affected by the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can contact the LEP Business Support Service by:

Completing our online enquiry form

Calling the LEP business support helpline on 0113 348 1818

Emailing BusinessSupport@the-lep.com

Due to a high volume of emails and phone calls, you may some experience delays getting through, but please be assured that they will respond to all enquires as soon as possible.

Regional support for businesses

LEP Business Support Service

Businesses can benefit from investment to purchase equipment, plant and machinery, digital equipment, develop new products and process, and save money on their energy bills through more efficient use of energy, water and waste. For more information, please contact the LEP Business Support Service or visit the-lep.com/support to learn about the support available.

Peer-to-peer support programme

In partnership with Biskit, the LEP is delivering a series of free weekly peer-to-peer online sessions, providing businesses across the City Region an opportunity to share ideas, raise issues, gain new insights and collaborate. Find out more and sign up.

COVID-19 Business Grant Programme

The LEP may be able to support your business if you are making capital investments to manufacture or supply products to the NHS and wider health supply chain. For more information, please contact the LEP Business Support Service.

Free one-to-one business coaching sessions

The LEP is working with business professionals to co-ordinate free coaching sessions to help SMEs formulate and implement contingency plans for this period and beyond. Coaches will work with companies to diagnose issues affecting them at the moment including people, suppliers and customers, finance and premises. Email us to access this support.

Supply chain support 

The University of Huddersfield has a team of supply chain experts who can help businesses to get more out of their supplier arrangements and enhance their positions within existing supply chains. This can include a deep dive analysis of current supply chains and supplier capacity, the introduction of new supply chain models to reduce risk and enhance quality, and the sourcing of more local suppliers. Email businesssupport@the-LEP.com for more information.

Business resilience programme

In partnership with Winning Pitch, we have launched the business resilience programme to support businesses owners through free one-to-one coaching and consultancy support and a series of webinars and leadership groups. Take our resilience test to help us to understand how we can best support you and your business. For more information about this programme, email businessresilience@winning-pitch.co.uk.

Digital Knowledge Exchange (DKE)

DKE has launched a new webinar series for businesses. The series is designed to support businesses striving to become best placed when the nation returns to business as usual. The webinars provide expert insights on the use of digital solutions to increase productivity and competitiveness during the lockdown. Topics cover customer engagement, business resilience, content marketing and digital marketing strategy. Find out more and sign up.

AD:VENTURE

Start-ups and young businesses in their first three years of trading can access online support. AD: VENTURE is delivering free webinars on marketing, sales, working remotely, social media and more, to help business owners to utilise their time at home to grow their business. View all webinars.

PAPI – Product and Process Innovation

PAPI helps small businesses in York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Leeds City Region develop innovative new products by providing grants for equipment.

Visit https://www.papi.org.uk/

The Employment Hub

Whether you need to recruit quickly to keep up with the demands of COVID-19 or you have employees at risk of redundancy, the Employment Hub can help your business through free impartial support.

  • Quickly find new employees through the Employment Hub talent matching service. Tell us your recruitment needs and we will find and introduce you to candidates suitable for the role.
  • Access support for employees who are at risk of or facing redundancy. Refer staff to the Employment Hub where we can support them in finding alternative employment.

If you need help with either of these issues, please book a free introduction call with a business engagement officer who will discuss your needs and offer you a tailored package of support. Find out more and book a call today.

Skills Service

Access to online learning, and financial incentives to undertake training, via the further education (FE) colleges of the City Region and private providers. Find out more.

Investment Readiness: webinar programme

The LEP is delivering a series of six free webinars to help businesses to understand government support schemes and the range of investment options available to help with the impact of COVID-19.

The 90-minute webinars are practical and led by experts from Garbutt + Elliott and Grant Thornton. All sessions are live and include an opportunity for Q&A.

Webinars are delivered by Winning Pitch on behalf of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Investment Readiness programme. Find out more and sign up.

Manufacturing Recovery Plan

Developed by the University of Huddersfield in collaboration with the LEP and key strategic partners, the scheme supports manufacturing SMEs across Leeds City Region to recover and build long-term resilience with a three-stage approach; stabilise, recover, growth. Find out more.

Department for International Trade Webinars

The Department for International Trade are running a series of webinars to help businesses through coronavirus.

Business can register via great.gov.uk where all recorded webinars are hosted. DIT is also working with partners to take the usual schedule of events online.

There is also a significant programme of webinars from other government departments, including HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The webinars are listed in additional government resources to support your business during coronavirus disruptions.

https://www.digitalenterprise.co.uk/digital-knowledge/events/For wider DIT Support https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-trade/about-our-services

NATIONAL SUPPORT:

For all the latest up to date government guidance on Coronavirus support for businesses, please visit the hub on GOV.UK.

Not sure which financial support schemes you may be eligible for? Use the business support finder to find out.

*NEW* Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme – Applications are now being taken

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

Eligibility

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus

Who cannot apply

The following businesses are not eligible to apply:

  • banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector bodies
  • state-funded primary and secondary schools

If you’re already claiming funding

You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

If you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.

How to apply

The full rules of the scheme and guidance on how to apply is available on the British Business Bank website.

NATIONAL FUNDING AND SUPPORT

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to businesses

  • Loans, tax relief and cash grants are available
  • Employers can apply for staff to get up to 80% pay if they can’t work
  • Self-employed people can receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least 3 months

Funding and support

Self-employed people and sole traders

Your responsibilities as an employer

How to run your business safely

What businesses should be closed.

All coronavirus business support information on GOV.UK

AD:VENTURE launches webinar series

A support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire is moving its events online during the coronavirus lockdown.

AD:VENTURE supports pre-start and new businesses with growth potential with a mix of offerings, including mentoring, events and access to finance.

Since the programme started at the end of 2016, AD:VENTURE, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has helped more than 3,000 businesses and individuals in the Leeds City Region, and approved over 160 grants to help start-up businesses grow.

Sarah Carling, AD:VENTURE programme manager, said: “Covid-19 and the lockdown has meant we have had to re-think a lot of how we deliver our support, but I am clear it is vital we continue to back the fantastic businesses we have here in the Leeds City Region.

“We’ve run a series of over 350 events successfully since the start of the programme. We know that participants really value both the content and the chance to engage with other businesses that these events provide.

“So rather than stop the events, we are moving our offering online with a series of webinars. But we are not just changing the delivery platform, we are also adapting what we cover to ensure they really support businesses and help address the particular challenges they are currently facing.”

The first webinar is on Tuesday April 21 and is called: “Reviewing and re-setting your marketing strategy during the COVID-19 outbreak”. Other webinars, which are free to join for eligible businesses, will cover topics including business resilience, effective negotiation, using LinkedIn and working effectively remotely. They can be booked via the AD:VENTURE website: https://ad-venture.org.uk/events/

Businesses are also still able to access one-to-one mentoring and other support from AD:VENTURE during the lockdown.

Partners of AD:VENTURE include the region’s nine local authorities, the Business Enterprise Fund and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, with businesses also able to access academic input through programmes delivered by higher education partners, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University.

Leeds bicycle delivery service is on the right track

An eco-friendly delivery service in Leeds is on a roll after launching on the first day of the coronavirus lockdown.  

Dabble launched on 23 March, the same day the government announced the lockdown to combat COVID:19. The company use bicycles to provide a delivery service for a range of shops around Chapel Allerton, enabling customers to continue supporting local businesses even if they can’t physically reach their premises. The aim is to provide customers with a weekly shop from a range of local shops. 

Dabble managing director Sam Leather said: “We’ve been planning the business since last year, but we pushed the launch forward because of the current demand for home delivery. During these uncertain times, we feel we can provide a vital service to the community and support local businesses at a time when they really need it. We have a captive audience and hopefully they will continue to use our services in the future when the world eventually returns to normal.” 

Dabble was founded by Sam and Joe Clough, who were inspired by the bustling community of the High Street in Chapel Allerton.  

Shops can list their products on Dabble’s website, and the firm will organise the delivery.  Sam said“We can take away that hassle and business owners can spend more time on developing their products. It’s great that we can help companies reach customers they wouldn’t usually be able to reach.” 

Sam believes the service Dabble provide can help reduce unnecessary journeys and help people who are vulnerable or self-isolating“People in the area are looking to make a positive step. We had a customer who said he is happy to pay more for delivery as he sees the benefit to the environment as well as the convenience.” 

Sam and Joe eventually want to be able to roll the service out further. “We are hoping that we can support more shops and establish ourselves in other parts of North Leeds,” Sam added. Long-term, we hope to work with farmers to help Leeds become a more self-sufficient city.” 

With the support of Leeds Beckett University and AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)Sam and Joe have benefited from masterclasses in sales and marketing and met like minded entrepreneurs. 

“I studied business at university, so the free masterclasses were a brilliant refresher and it was great to be around other business people,” Sam said. 

“To anyone who is looking for business support, I’d definitely recommend AD:VENTURE. It’s an amazing support network and can open up opportunity right on your doorstep.” 

Kirstie Frenneaux, Project Manager at Leeds Beckett University, said: “It’s great to see a small business like Dabble providing a vital service to their community in these challenging times. It’s more important than ever that services like this are available and I fully expect that Dabble will continue to expand and thrive when the pandemic is over.  

This is a great example of the effect that the support we provide in partnership with AD:VENTURE can have on exciting new businesses in Leeds.” 

For more information on AD:VENTURE go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/ 

AD:VENTURE launches free online masterclasses from Leeds Beckett University

AD:VENTURE is working with Leeds Beckett University to provide free online resources to businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Digital Learning Hub is a free resource providing online masterclasses, tips and advice to young businesses who want to improve their skills and knowledge. It has been developed by Leeds Beckett University in partnership with AD:VENTUREa business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

The content has been developed by academics from Leeds Beckett’s Business School and covers business planning, sales, leadership skills, marketing and pricing. Each masterclass contains a 15-minute video tutorial and provides suggested tasks to complete to put the learning into practice. 

The resources are aimed at businesses in the Leeds City Region from pre start-up to three years old and can be accessed on any PC or mobile device. 

Kirstie Frenneaux, Leeds Beckett University Project Manager, said: “The Digital Learning Hub was being developed before the COVID-19 outbreak, but in light of the current situation and the crippling effect it is having on our small businesses, it’s more important than ever that these resources are available.  

“The masterclasses will provide an opportunity for growing business leaders to continue learning and planning during these challenging times and ensure that they are prepared for when the region begins to recover from this pandemic.” 

The Digital Learning Hub has been developed in partnership with Candle Digital, an online learning platform provider based in Halifax. The company was successful in the procurement process and works with several clients in the US and China. In the early days of the business, Candle Digital received AD:VENTURE support to help it to grow. 

Mark Langdale, co-director at Candle Digital, said: “We can’t recommend AD:VENTURE or Leeds Beckett University enough. The support we have received is far beyond anything we could ever have expected. We would suggest to any start-up or young business that they investigate the advice, guidance and sessions that are on offer and make the most of them.” 

For more details on the Digital Learning Hubbusinesses should contact their AD:VENTURE advisor or register onto the programme at www.ad-venture.org.uk/register. 

Leeds manufacturer to supply emergency Excel hospital

A Leeds healthcare manufacturer is supplying equipment to the new emergency hospital being created in London.

Staff at Herida Healthcare are working around the clock to make thousands of specialist mattresses, with the initial delivery to the hospital at the Excel today (Friday 27th).

The air-pump mattresses are designed to reduce the chance of patients developing bed sores and are usually sold to NHS trusts and long-term care homes across the UK and abroad.

Company founder Neil Smith said everyone at the company wanted to help the NHS as much as they could.

“While we all really appreciate the work the NHS does at its centre, the response to Covid-19 needs a chain of suppliers who provide critical links. This includes delivery drivers taking it there, packers, mattress welders, cutters, administrative staff working from home and all others in between.

“Our staff are working so hard and we are all a bit exhausted as we have turned this round in 72 hours, but morale is very high as they are so proud to take part.”

The new hospital at the Excel conference centre in London’s Docklands will initially have 500 beds, rising to 4,000 to cope with the expected increase in Covid-19 patients. Military personnel have been involved in setting up the new facility, which will be called the Nightingale Hospital.

Staff at Herida Healthcare are working shifts over 24 hours to fulfil the initial order, with more orders coming in. All staff are wearing PPE and carrying out social distancing.

The company was only set up in 2016 but has grown rapidly with help from organisations such as Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Leeds City Council, and AD:VENTURE, which provides support for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It has 42 staff and expanded into a new 30,000 sq ft factory in Morley only a few months ago.

Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Judith Blake said: “This is great news for Herida Healthcare and I am really proud to see a local up-and-coming company doing its bit to help the national effort.

“UK manufacturing will be a crucial part of tackling this crisis and it shows how the whole country is pulling together to help each other in a time of need.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Deputy Lieutenant and chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11, said: “The swift response by Herida Healthcare to this national call for such an urgent national need is real testament to the region’s manufacturing capability. They are just one of many local businesses who are fundamentally changing their operations to assist at this difficult time, and we must all thank all of those smart people who are driving forward solutions for the national effort.”

For more information on AD:VENTURE go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/

AD:VENTURE announced as principal sponsor of Kirklees Business Conference

The Kirklees Business Conference and AD:VENTURE:

AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for start-ups in the Leeds City Region, has been announced as principal sponsor of this year’s Kirklees Business Conference in Huddersfield.
Specialist advisors from AD:VENTURE will be offering free business advice surgeries at the event for the Kirklees business community on 18 March at The John Smith’s Stadium.

Tony Armson, grants officer at AD:VENTURE, will also be delivering a talk as part of the ‘Funding and Finance for SMEs’ seminar. He will be joined by Pete Waugh who is the co-founder of Huddersfield-based software development company, Torchbearer, which has received support through the programme.

The attending businesses:
AD:VENTURE helps ambitious new businesses trading for less than three years in North and West Yorkshire. Since the programme started at the end of 2016, it has provided over £1.3m of funding to start-up firms and helped create 391 jobs.

Advisors from AD:VENTURE and Kirklees Business Hub Team will be joined at Kirklees Business Conference by representatives from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Product and Process Innovation (PAPI), Business Enterprise Fund, Leeds City Region Supply Chain programme, The Skills Service and The Prince’s Trust.

Sarah Carling, programme manager at Leeds City Region AD:VENTURE Programme, said: “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring Kirklees Business Conference. The event provides a fantastic platform to showcase some of the exciting start-up businesses in our region, as well as allowing us to demonstrate the support available through the AD:VENTURE programme to help them reach their full potential.”

Huddersfield-based Torchbearer, which specialises in mobile app design, website development and game development, has accessed over £8,000 in grants though AD:VENTURE, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Kirklees Council.
Pete Waugh, director of Torchbearer, will be speaking at the event. He said: “I’m really looking forward to sharing our growth story at the conference and meeting fellow business owners. Since working with the team at AD:VENTURE our business has grown massively and we are looking to recruit two new full-time members of the team to service our expanding client base.”

Event Time and location information:
Kirklees Business Conference takes place at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield on 18 March 2020 from 8am-2.30pm. Earlier this month it was announced that Danni Hewson, the voice of business on BBC 5 live, will be the event’s keynote speaker. Free tickets are available to book on the website at KBC2020.co.uk.

AD:VENTURE is a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) match funded programme which offers grant funding, mentoring and business development advice to pre-start, young and new firms with growth potential in the Leeds City Region. The programme also runs free events tailored to new businesses and offers support to young people who are keen to develop entrepreneurial skills.
For more information on AD:VENTURE go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/

North Yorkshire vehicle safety firm launches lifesaving AirBar

A North Yorkshire company has set the wheels in motion with a brand-new safety device which could save the lives of drivers, operatives and cyclists.

NuVech Solutions Ltd, based in Ripon, has launched the AirBar, an inflatable barrier fitted with LED lights which attaches to the front and back of lorries or vans. The device encourages motorists to slow down and move over and has been designed to alert approaching traffic and protect vulnerable operators working near live traffic.

The AirBar can also operate with the vehicle’s nearside indicator below speeds of 15mph to help alert cyclists of a turning vehicle.

NuVech has received orders from national hauliers, recovery companies and manufacturers, and is currently in final negotiations with a large American distributer to market the system in the USA and Canada.

The development of the AirBar has been supported by a £4000 grant from AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The money was used to adapt the company’s new premises at Phoenix Business Park in Ripon, owned by Harrogate Borough Council.

Sarah Scaife, co-director of NuVech, said: “We used to run driver training courses and one of the common things we found was that drivers were getting hit by passing cars as they worked around their vehicles. This is obviously a real safety concern.

“Our customers have witnessed first-hand the huge benefits to driver safety when the AirBar is deployed so we look forward to working with businesses who are keen to improve safety for their employees and vulnerable road users alike.”

“Due to its unique design, the AirBar will improve safety for drivers and operatives in the logistics industry. We wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without the support from AD:VENTURE. Their help has enabled us to get the wheels in motion in bringing the new product to market.”

NuVech Solutions was set up by Sarah and Simon Scaife in December 2017. The husband and wife team previously ran a separate company, Vehicle Transporter Training, which offered accredited transporter driver training courses. Simon has over 30 years’ experience in the vehicle logistics industry.

The AirBar was launched in September 2019 in the UK and has already won an innovation award from the Institute of Vehicle Recovery, despite being up against major manufacturers.

One of the first companies to order the AirBar is John Macadam and Son, a recovery firm based in Colne, Lancashire which operates across Yorkshire and North-West England. Director Alastair Macadam said: “The most important asset we have in the company is our staff and this system helps to protect them, which makes it invaluable.

“The device has already proved useful for our drivers – we were dealing with an incident on the M6 involving an overturned HGV and both the police and highways officers commented on the Airbar as being a good idea.”

As well as providing the £4000 grant, AD:VENTURE supported Simon and Sarah with creating a business plan, ensuring the device complied with industry legislation, and moving to NuVech’s current premises at Phoenix Business Park in Ripon.

Councillor Graham Swift, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources, Economic Development and Enterprise at Harrogate Borough Council said: “It’s fantastic to see a new company based in Ripon developing such an innovative product, and we wish NuVech every success.

“We’re delighted to be a partner in the AD:VENTURE programme, it’s a valuable part of the local services we offer to help the growth of start-ups and new businesses like NuVech.”

Selby Start Up Smiles and Miles celebrate success

Smiles and Miles, the tutoring membership community launched by single mother of two and teacher of 23 years, Sarah Oliver, is celebrating after reaching its target to provide more than 100 students with access to the educational support they need, delivering no fewer than 80 sessions per week.

In addition, the start up business has also registered 10 tutors across a range of subject specialisms to manage the demand for its services, while also securing a tender with a third sector funder to provide education services to disadvantaged communities.

None of this would have been possible however without the support that Sarah has received from Selby District Council and ERDF funded programme, AD:VENTURE.

Sarah comments: “I would not be where I am today without the help I’ve received from AD:VENTURE and Selby District Council. Not only was I able to access loads of courses on a range of subjects, I also had 1:1 mentoring which was invaluable. Having a business is certainly a rollercoaster but with this support it becomes more manageable. It’s been an amazing journey.”

Realising that she wanted a better work and life balance, Sarah gave up her career of more than two decades as a primary school teacher to become an independent tutor.

Believing that youngsters need more than systems to pass exams, Sarah’s approach was to give children the chance to become life-long learners by helping them to become confident, happy and resilient. In turn, she believes this has a knock-on effect and allows young people to make greater academic progress.

Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t earn enough to live, yet it was obvious that there was increasing demand for her services and the approach that she takes.

Sarah turned to Selby District Council Senior Business Advisor, Heidi Green who put her in touch with AD:VENTURE Business Growth Advisor, Lisa Whalley. With a start-up that had potential to scale up, Sarah was able to access courses and a range of workshops while also attending networking cafes to meet with others in a similar situation.

Recognising the potential in the business, Sarah changed the model and created a business to business membership community, extending the number of students and tutors that Smiles and Miles was able to work with. This approach proved successful and has established the organisation within the sector.

Sarah continues: “I never thought my business would become so successful so quickly and thanks to the support I’ve had I have learnt so much about how to think like an entrepreneur. It’s not just about being the best at what you do, in my case it was also taking responsibility for organising the tutors, becoming a parent liaison, dealing with invoicing and then marketing. It’s a completely different set of skills.

“The access to professional advice has been incredible and with so much business support out there, I can’t believe every start up isn’t tapping into what’s available!”

Selby District Council Executive Member with responsibility for economic development, Cllr David Buckle, added: “This is a great example of how we’ve been able to work with others to offer practical help to support small business growth. We’ve got a great entrepreneurial spirit here in the Selby district, with lots of room to grow too. That’s one of the reasons Selby District Council works in partnership with business in this way.”

Future plans for Smiles and Miles are to franchise the business and to extend its reach beyond Yorkshire. Longer-term it is intended that the company will become a nationwide offering, showcasing what you can achieve when you access the advice and guidance that is offered from professional business services throughout the region.

For further details about the AD:VENTURE programme, please visit www.ad-venture.org.uk and for details about Selby District Council and its business services please access, https://www.selby.gov.uk/

Yorkshire business support programme provides over £1m in grant funding

A Yorkshire business support programme has provided more than a million pounds in grant funding since its launch. 

AD:VENTURE, which helps ambitious new businesses trading for less than three years in North and West Yorkshire, has provided over £1.3m of funding to start-up firms and helped create 391 jobs. 

Since the programme started at the end of 2016, AD:VENTURE has helped more than 3000 businesses and individuals in the Leeds City Region, and approved 156 grants to help start-up businesses to grow, including support for purchasing vital equipment and moving to suitable premises.  

Partners of AD:VENTURE include the regionnine local authorities, the Business Enterprise Fund and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, with businesses also able to access academic input through programmes delivered by higher education partners, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University.  

The programme has also supported 826 people aged 18 to 30 through its Explore Enterprise Course, run in partnership with The Prince’s Trust. 

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11, said: “Programmes like AD:VENTURE help start-up businesses to speed up their growth, and that leads to a stronger economy. 

“We have some fantastic new businesses in this region and these figures show that with the right support provided at the right time, start-ups can go from strength to strength.” 

One of the businesses benefiting from the programme is Halifax-based Candle Digital, an online learning platform for training providers. The team worked with an AD:VENTURE advisor who helped them to target the right people that could benefit from their service. 

Mark Langdale, director of Candle Digital, said: “We can’t recommend AD:VENTURE enough. The business support we have received is far beyond anything we could ever have expected. 

“We would suggest to any start-up business that they investigate the advice, guidance and sessions that are on offer and make the most of them.” 

Power Sheds, a shed manufacturer based in Bradford, have also seen the benefits of accessing AD:VENTURE grant funding, which was used to help purchase an automated saw. The equipment measures the timber to the correct length allowing it to be cut very quickly and reduces waste.  

The new equipment means that Power Sheds are on target to triple their size within the next year, with plans to expand into Europe. Jack Sutcliffe, director of Power Sheds, says the support they have had from AD:VENTURE has played a big part in the company’s rapid growth. 

“They’ll happily come out and see you and are always available to give you advice on anything that you might need. They’ve also advised us on where to go for other funding and put us in contact with lots of different people who might be able to help us.” 

AD:VENTURE is a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) match funded programme which offers grant funding, mentoring and business development advice to pre-start, young and new firms with growth potential in the Leeds City Region. The programme also runs free events tailored to new businesses and offers support to young people who are keen to develop entrepreneurial skills 

For more information on AD:VENTURE go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/ 

Leeds manufacturer moves into new factory to keep up with demand

Herida

A Leeds healthcare manufacturer has moved into a new factory twice the size to keep up with demand.

Herida Healthcare has relocated to a 30,000 sq ft unit in Morley as it grows its market and products, with plans for an official opening next week (Wednesday November 20th).

The company, which only started trading in 2016, manufactures specialist mattresses for the elderly and infirm to avoid pressure sores, and entered the moving and handling sector about 12 months ago.

Its foam and air-pump mattresses, and slings are sold to community equipment stores, NHS trusts and long-term care homes through a dealer network across the UK, with about 25 per cent of products exported, mainly to Australasia.

The factory move has already led to an extra six jobs, bringing the headcount to 42, with plans to increase that number significantly with the introduction of shift working within the next two or three years.

Founder Neil Smith said: “As many businesses are pulling out of manufacturing we are moving up. We know that by being agile and quick to respond to demand we have a competitive advantage and can be profitable.”

The rapid growth of the company is also down to support from the public sector said Neil, with advice and grants from organisations such as Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

“The grants have helped us buy equipment and become more efficient in the manufacturing process and that can be the difference between a business thriving or not surviving at all,” said Neil.

Sarah Carling, Ad:Venture programme manager, said: “Herida Healthcare is a fantastic success story that shows that the public and private sectors really can work hand in hand to bring prosperity and jobs, and boost the local economy.”

Herida Healthcare moved just five miles to the new factory at Leeds 27 Industrial Estate, partly because the company wanted to keep as many as possible of its skilled workforce.

To coincide with the move Neil has passed over the reins to a new managing director, John Bentley, who joined the company just two months ago, bringing significant experience in the wound care sector with brands such as Smith & Nephew. Neil will stay on as chairman.

In addition, David Emmerson joins Herida Healthcare as the head of operations from Johnson & Johnson. The fourth director is co-founder John Kay.

John Bentley said: “It really is an exciting time to join, as this is a company on the up and up.

“The existing team has done a great job by bringing the business from conception, a little over three and a half years ago, to that of a very profitable, large-scale, British-manufacturing outfit, serving a global customer base. And the brand new factory means our long term prospects are excellent.”

The factory official opening is at 10am on Wednesday November 20 at the factory at Leeds 27 Industrial Estate in Morley.