A Leamington-based outdoor furniture manufacturer has begun work on ambitious new expansion plans which will lead to the creation of new jobs when complete.
Woodberry of Leamington Spa, which has been supplying venues in the hospitality industry for over 12 years, has experienced a sharp rise in demand for its environmentally-friendly products and needed additional storage capacity.
The company is currently building a 112-sq metre mezzanine floor which will enable it to store and assemble its range of 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic outdoor furniture during the winter months before demand picks up for the season.
Woodberry received valuable business advice from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, which is funded by Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund. The CWLEP Growth Hub introduced the company to Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT), a not-for-profit organisation providing highly competitive funding to businesses in the region.
Through CWRT, Woodberry was able to secure finance from the Duplex Investment Fund, a new way to help finance capital investments by local businesses. Duplex combines public sector grants and loans to give financial flexibility and low cost.
It is delivered by FCA accredited lending specialists CWRT on behalf of Coventry City Council (CCC), Warwickshire County Council (WCC), and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Duplex is open to businesses operating in Coventry and Warwickshire that can create jobs as a result of the investment.
Tim Barr, General Manager Woodberry of Leamington Spa, said: “We are delighted with the support and assistance the CWLEP Growth Hub has provided to our business. Their expert knowledge of funding schemes has been invaluable for us to develop the Woodberry business for the future.
“The funding to build the new mezzanine enables us to respond to our customers’ needs, grow the family business and further develop our environmental sustainability.”
Andrew Scarborough, Loans Manager, CWRT, said: “Woodberry has strong ties with Leamington so it was great to be able to provide them with the funds to facilitate the next step in their development.
“The new mezzanine floor will contribute to the local economy with the creation of new jobs which is great news for the area.”
Martin Nwangwa, Account Manager, CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “Our association with Woodberry is an excellent example of how the CWLEP Growth Hub can assist businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire with their strategies for growth.
“There is an increasing demand for environmentally-friendly products in the leisure and tourism sector and the new mezzanine floor will enable Woodberry to cater to this demand.”
Warwickshire County Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: "Woodberry is a forward-thinking, small business with an impressive focus on environmentally friendly products and I am delighted that support from the Duplex Fund has enabled them to expand.
“Warwickshire County Council's £2 million investment in the Duplex Fund is part of our wider £5 million investment in access-to-finance programmes and underlines our commitment to support as many small businesses as possible with their plans to grow."
Caption: From the left - Martin Nwangwa, CWLEP Growth Hub, Tim Barr, Woodberry of Leamington Spa, and Andrew Scarborough, CWRT