Thousands invested in Pendle’s economy

12 January 2015

More than a hundred Pendle companies have received thousands of pounds from the Council’s Gearing up for Growth fund.

It’s all about creating economic growth, helping local companies thrive, creating more job opportunities and supporting and bringing forward private sector investment.

Since 2012, 135 companies have received grants to help them start or to expand – that’s £337,000 of investment in the borough which will result in around £1.5m of private sector investment.

Councillor Paul White, who has responsibility for Economic Growth and Promotion, said: "Our Gearing up for Growth programme is a real success story.

"Over the past two years we’ve invested significantly in the scheme because it’s vital that we help our local economy to thrive and create more jobs.

"We’re doing all we can to keep those companies based here, support those who want to grow and encourage new ones to start.

"Previous grants have been taken up by a wide range of industries across Pendle, from aerospace to engineering and tourism.

"There’s a wide range of help available to businesses and we want to get this message out loud and clear!"

For the past three years Pendle Council has approved funding of more than £1.1m for the Gearing up for Growth programme.

Since September 2012 it has also:
• created 135 new jobs (projected)
• increased private sector investment over £4m (projected)
• held 16 business seminars annually during business month
• hosted Work Inspiration events annually for 340 Pendle students and 25 businesses.

Case studies

Loft Leg Ltd,
is a real success story. The company, which is now based in the ACE Centre in Nelson, specialises in loft storage solutions which don’t affect the performance of any loft insulation.

Two years ago it received a start-up grant from Pendle Council to launch its first product called Loft Leg – a simple recycled leg which supports boards above loft insulation.

This prevents it from being compressed which can reduce its thermal performance by more than 50%.

It’s recently expanded its product range and now also produces Loft Ledge, a unique shelving system. And they’re all set to launch Loft Light their latest product which is a bright, battery powered LED light bulb which avoids the need for an electrician.

Matthew Driver, Director of Loft Leg Ltd, said: "We’re thrilled with the support we’ve had from Pendle Council. Applying for the grant was a painless process!

"Our start-up grant gave us a much needed cash injection when we needed it most. We’re about to have three fantastic products on the market which give people simple solutions – making their lofts useful while keeping their houses warm and energy efficient."

Loft Leg Ltd has products in a number of national DIY stores and catalogues including ToolStation and Wickes as well as various builders’ merchants including Travis Perkins, Selco and Forgefix/Toolbox.

It has just been approved for a Grant for Growth which will help pay towards developing new moulds for its Loft Light product.

And the company has recently sold products to New Zealand, opening up a huge export opportunity.
Meanwhile, Barrowford company, Merc Engineering UK Ltd has offered one of its graduates a full-time job.

Russell Bradley, who left Liverpool John Moores University with a First Class Honours degree in BA Business Studies, was taken on in May 2013
as Operations Assistant.

After a successful 12 month placement Russell was kept on as Quality Systems Engineer. This means he ensures all products made by Merc are compliant to their stringent aerospace procedures.

Richard Meade, Commercial Director, said: "As a small company we often need our new staff to hit the ground running.

"But the financial help from Pendle Council’s Graduate Placement Scheme meant that we could afford to give Russell time to settle into his role and understand what’s required.

"He’s a fantastic addition to our team and we’ve been very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to find someone with these qualifications."

Merc has recently been approved for funding from the Council’s Grants for Growth
which will help them to buy a new server.

Hanna Latty, Business Development Officer, said: "Our Gearing up for Growth fund is a huge success and we’re thrilled that our grants and support are giving local companies a leading edge.

"Loft Leg and Merc are good examples of how we can help our local businesses to grow and thrive.

"Since September we’ve already approved start-up grants of more than £18,000, £36,000 of Grants for Growth and two further graduate placements with Pendle businesses."

Over the coming months Gearing up for Growth will continue to offer:

• Start-up grants to support businesses which are helping to diversify the local economy and become the employers of the future
• Grants for Growth which stimulate private sector investment and support growth in our existing companies and increase their competitiveness
• Graduate placements which aim to address both the number of young people out of work and the low level of skills in the local workforce by encouraging local companies to take on local graduates
• Work Inspiration Event which allows pupils aged 13-14 from all six of Pendle’s secondary schools to try small practical activities with businesses to learn about their industry
• Pendle Business Month which gives businesses the opportunity to attend events/workshops letting them know of the support available and training sessions.

For more information about Gearing up for Growth contact Hanna Latty, Business Development Officer, on (01282) 661677 or email [email protected]

For further information please contact: Alice Barnett, Communications Team, Chief Executive's Policy Unit, Pendle Council, Town Hall, Market Street, Nelson, BB9 7LG

Tel: 01282 661780
Fax: 01282 661630
Email: [email protected]

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