Tag: Grant Funding

Ripon entrepreneur aims to bring back Yorkshire speaker manufacturing

A Ripon entrepreneur is planning to bring back speaker manufacturing to Yorkshire after experiencing rapid growth in the past year.

BishopSound was set up by Andrew Bishop in 2016. The company’s products sell worldwide and include PA speakers, amplifiers and mixing equipment. Bands such as Elbow, The Courteneers and members of Ocean Colour Scene use BishopSound equipment, and the company also supplies speakers to schools, places of worship, pubs, clubs and DJs.

BishopSound has been able to speed up growth thanks to an £11,000 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 grant was used for website development, product photography, a promotional video and IT equipment.

“We’re in a phenomenal growth pattern at the moment – every month we seem to double our turnover compared to the previous year,” Andrew said. “People have latched on to the sound that we create, looked at the price and realised that there’s no point in going anywhere else.

“Without the AD:VENTURE funding, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to operate at the capacity we are currently working at and we’ve been able to speed up our new product plans.”

Andrew set up his business with the aim of bringing back the ‘British Sound’ to the PA speaker industry, which was established in the 1960s when bands such as The Beatles enjoyed worldwide success. UK-made speaker equipment was renowned for its quality but much of the equipment has to be manufactured in China.

Andrew is now developing prototypes with Yorkshire manufacturers with the aim of selling equipment made in our region in 2020.

“We have tried to use as many Yorkshire companies as possible to help us set up the business, and that’s the same for the manufacturing side,” he added. “At the moment 90% of our sales are made overseas but we want to bring more British-made speakers back to the market. We’ve been able to bring forward our plans for that thanks to the rapid growth we have had.”

Councillor Graham Swift, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for resources, enterprise and economic development at Harrogate Borough Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see the success of a local entrepreneur, and hear of their commitment to increase development and production in Yorkshire.  We are delighted to be a partner in the AD:VENTURE programme, directly helping the growth of start-ups. BishopSound is a great example of how that support can unlock the potential of our local businesses.”

Funding boost for Wakefield tech company helps turn a concept into reality

What started out as a first-year university project for students at Backstage Academy (Production Park) in Wakefield, has transformed into a commercial spin-out, Interactive Immersive Classroom Ltd. as a partnership with Enquire Learning Trust and Production Park.

Using £11,000 in match-funded grants from AD:VENTURE, the European Regional Development funded programme of practical and financial support for young businesses in the Leeds City Region, the start-up purchased projectors that would allow for the system to be perfectly optimised and integrated in initial feasibility testing.

Turning the concept of immersive spaces within learning environments into a reality, in its initial precommercial phase, the business created and installed three immersive classrooms in schools in Grimsby, Stockton-on-Tees and Manchester.

Using integrated advanced technologies from the Live Events industry, Interactive Immersive Classroom has installed projectors within each school to deliver a 360-degree socially immersive experience.

An evolution of virtual reality technology, these immersive classrooms improve the social engagement and comprehension among pupils and provide a suite of new tools and content sources to allow flexibility in teaching practice.

Working with pedagogical curriculum consultants and with the integration of streaming and casting tools means that a world of internet media and content can now be mapped into the room for a dynamic and engaging learning environment.

Project Manager for Interactive Immersive Classroom, Andy Delmaine, comments: “Children are growing up surrounded by technology, they know no different. Creating an environment where they are able to immerse themselves into a world that is built around them makes the learning experience all the more engaging.

L-R James Whitaker, Andy Delmaine and Charlie Cooper. Image by Northern Exposure

“We would like to thank AD:VENTURE for the support and encouragement they have given us. Using the funds to complete the viability tests meant that we could show the product as an installation and all the benefits it can deliver in support of our initial installations in partnership with ELT. The company is now exploring other sectors that could benefit from the technology including museums, retail, emergency services and other training providers.

Andy comments: “We are looking to extend our relationship with other schools that want to try new things and embrace innovative ways of teaching. We are now using these installations as case reference as we commercialise the system and to sell it to other institutions that could benefit from immersive content on their walls.”

Tom Stannard, Wakefield Council’s Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Growth, comments: “We are delighted that start-up businesses in Wakefield are developing market-leading digital technologies. This is a real success story and I’m encouraged to hear that the business is now working with the wider city region to transfer their knowledge and technology.

“Taking a concept that was developed from a university project and turning that into a viable business model that has secured commissions is real testament to the collaboration and commitment of all involved; Interactive Immersive Classroom, Backstage Academy, Production Park, Enquire Learning Trust and AD:VENTURE.”

For further details about the visual technologies and installations that can be delivered by Interactive Immersive Classroom please visit http://immersiveclassroom.one/ or for details about AD:VENTURE and the practical and funding support on offer please visit www.ad-venture.org.uk