European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) newsletter

Monday 3rd of December 2018 03:20 PM

Welcome to the fifth European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Newsletter that has been produced by Coventry & Warwickshire’s ERDF Techncial Assistance Team.

The ERDF Technical Assistance team is available to provide support on further developing any project ideas you have on the four themes of the ERDF programme within Coventry & Warwickshire:

  • Supporting Research & Development (R&D) and innovation within businesses;
  • Enhancing access to and the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for local businesses;
  • Improving the competitiveness of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs);
  • Supporting the development of the low carbon economy.

In this fifth edition, we explore the success stories of local SME support services.

Jobs boost for long-running business

The Nuneaton branch of a tool manufacturing business formed more than 100 years ago in Detroit, is looking to create new jobs after securing crucial funding.
 
Cogsdill, which was formed in 1914 as a cutting tool, regrinding and repair service in Detroit, has had a UK base in Nuneaton for over 60 years, most recently moving to the Bermuda Industrial Estate in 2014.
 
Now, the firm has secured funding for crucial equipment in the shape of a £120,000 Doosan milling machine and a £45,000 Co-Ordinate Measuring machine, just weeks after contacting the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub for assistance.

The CWLEP Growth Hub is a partner in Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support programme for which Coventry City Council is an Accountable Body and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 
 
CWLEP Growth Hub has a team of dedicated account managers who help put businesses on the right path towards growth, whether that is through funding, networking opportunities or advice.

Money to go towards the two pieces of equipment was secured within six weeks of Cogsdill making contact with the Growth Hub.

Finance Manager Lloyd Spencer said: “This machinery is going to enable us to be more efficient and productive, we are really taking a step up from our current equipment.

“We believe this will lead to us eventually creating up to five jobs over the next 12 months. Working with the Growth Hub has given us tangible results almost immediately. We were unaware of the funding available before Growth-Hub pointed us in the right direction.”

After starting life in the USA’s famous ‘motor city’ and building a second home in the UK, the family business is now headquartered in Camden, South Carolina. It is currently owned and operated by the second and third generation descendants of Stuart Cogsdill, who built the companies foundation on manufacturing special tools for early automotive pioneers such as Henry Ford and the Dodge brothers.
 
Now, the 40 plus staff in Nuneaton will be taking advantage of top of the range machinery to supply the leading industries and manufacturers of today. 

Lee Donaldson, Executive Director, said: “Our customer base has grown to several different markets including aerospace, oil and gas, renewable energy along with our automotive roots and motorsport. These are very demanding sectors and we needed this investment to satisfy our growth objectives and customer requirements.”
 
Gary Thyeson, account manager with the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, said: “Cogsdill has a long and successful history, which we are pleased to be able to help continue here in Nuneaton. We are particularly pleased to have been able to help Cogsdill access funding so soon after we were initially contacted by them, which shows how quickly we can act and the wide range of services we can offer. We look forward to seeing Cogsdill grow over the coming years after this boost.”

Kieran Bal, Business Development Advisor at Coventry City Council said: “It’s great to see the difference our funding has made to Cogsdill and we look forward to helping other likeminded, ambitious companies in the future”.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the District and Borough Councils.

For more information, please email business@coventry.gov.uk.  

Start-up programme "invaluable" to Helen as her business hits the ground running

A Warwickshire market research consultant has secured a major contract just months after launching her own business - with the "invaluable" support of the Warwickshire County Council-backed Start-Up Programme.
 
Leamington-based Helen Roberts launched XV Insight last year after working for 25 years in the market research industry, mainly for major agencies in senior roles.

And her decision is already looking like the right one after the company won several new contracts including a major piece of work with Visit England and the Discover England Fund, which is aimed at growing in-bound tourism to the UK.
 
To get the business off the ground, Helen has been tapping into free support and advice available through the Start-Up Programme which is delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and funded by Warwickshire County Council, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the District and Borough Councils.
 
She has attended masterclasses on a range of subjects aimed at offering practical advice to business owners, attending networking events, and accessing support from a business coach, Tanya King.
 
Helen said: “It was great to win the contract with Visit England and the Discover England Fund so soon after establishing XV Insight. It’s a great testament to the new business that such a major organisation has come to us for such a significant piece of market research work.
 
“I felt the time was right to take the plunge because of the experience and expertise I had acquired over the years and I am really enjoying it.

“The support from the Start-Up programme has been invaluable. The masterclasses were in a relaxed, informal setting and it meant I could take away exactly what I wanted from them.
 
“Having my own business coach was fantastic too. Sometimes it’s just great to be able to talk through an idea and get some genuine feedback in return – it helps you to question yourself and where you want to go with the business too.
 
“I’d researched – as you’d expect – quite a few networking organisations in the area and the Chamber stood out for me because of the additional help that comes with it.

“I feel like I’m getting long-term help and support, not just something that will be dropped after just a few weeks and that’s great to know as a new business.”
 
Tanya King, a business coach at the Chamber, said: “It has been fantastic working with Helen as she’s established XV Insight and it’s been a wonderful start for the business.
 
“Businesses required different levels of support when they start-up and we can tailor our coaching to the needs of the company, rather than the other way round.”

For more information on business support from the Chamber, call 024 7665 4321.
 
Information on the project led by XV Insight for Visit England and the Discover England Fund can be found at: https://www.visitbritain.org/research-summary-reports

Local Business Fit for Growth 

Thanks to a £62,070 grant from the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme and a £43,497 grant from the Investment Fund, a Nuneaton based business, Indigo Fitness was able to expand their business and achieve energy efficiency savings at their newly acquired site on Whitacre Road.

Indigo Fitness applied for a grant from the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered by Coventry City Council, Coventry University and Coventry University Enterprises Ltd. The programme is open to businesses with less than 250 employees based in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Trading since 1996 Indigo Fitness is the UK’s largest fitness equipment manufacturer. They design, manufacture, assemble deliver and install products and services for the Commercial Fitness sector as well as for the MOD.

Having recently moved to a former Co-operative Society distribution centre that dates back to the 1960’s, they have completed extensive renovations, bringing the building in line with the latest standards of safety and energy efficiency –works included a new fully insulated roof, Infrared Heating, and cutting-edge Sensor controlled LED lighting throughout, both designed to reduce 35 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year with the help of the two Business Support Grant Programmes.

A number of new product areas have already been identified following the Grant Programmes with the new site allowing more comprehensive onsite testing and evaluation. One major growth area is outdoor gym systems not just for the UK but for the Sporting, Military, Humanitarian Aid, Oil, Gas and Mining Industries.
 
Managing Director, Rob Coleman said: “The funding has enabled us to not only provide a more efficient production process and develop new product areas but the extra space and light (provided by the new roof) has also greatly improved the working environment for our staff.”

Gary Thyeson, Account Manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “One of the reasons the Growth Hub was launched was to help make businesses aware of the local support available to them. Having alerted Indigo Fitness to various funding options will now ensure they continue to expand.”

For more information on the ERDF Green Business Programme, please email greenbusiness@coventry.gov.uk

For further updates on the ERDF Programme in Coventry & Warwickshire, please visit http://www.cwlep.com/funding/european-structural-and-investment-funds