A Derbyshire company who are pioneering new ways of eliminating hair contamination in the food manufacturing and retail industries has secured a £200,000 grant from the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund to help take its new ideas to market and expand its workforce.
ABurnet, which has factories in Draycott and Long Eaton, is nearing the end of a £1 million three-year research and development programme to develop better products and processes to tackle the issue.
The company applied to the £20 million Derby Enterprise Growth Fund for support in the cost of moving to a new larger factory – scheduled for 2014 – and investment in manufacturing the new products, which will lead to the creation of 15 new local jobs.
Derby Enterprise Growth Fund is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. Run by Derby City Council, the fund aims to support growth and job creation in businesses in the city and surrounding area through a mix of loans and grants.
ABurnet, a £2.9 million turnover company operating in Derbyshire since 1898, has been working with leading food manufacturers supplying major retailers and with researchers from the University of Bolton on a government-backed initiative to design new hair coverings for food production and retail facilities.
The new re-usable hair net, which can be washed up to fifteen times in a hair-dissolving solution rather than discarded after every use, is currently being trialed by food manufacturers before being officially launched next year.
ABurnet managing director Richard Burnet explained: “The new light weight head covering is far more efficient in containing hair so reducing the risk of contamination.
“It is also more cost effective and will dramatically contribute to the food manufacturing industry’s overall aim of zero waste to landfill.
“This is a major breakthrough in the industry and, with the digital printing processes that we have also developed, also opens up new retail markets as head coverings can be printed with branding and promotional messages.
“The support from Derby Enterprise Growth Fund will enable us to move to larger production facilities planned for next year, invest in the manufacturing and printing equipment that we need to take these exciting products to market and create much needed production and administrative jobs.”
Derby City Council Leader Cllr Paul Bayliss, who chairs the DEGF panel of industry and financial experts, said: “ABurnet is yet another example of a local company which is leading the field in their particular industry.
“We continue to be heartened by the high level of entrepreneurial spirit amongst business leaders in the city and surrounding area and were pleased to be able to support this company in their innovative expansion plans.”
Applications for the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund continue to be accepted by Derby City Council. To find out more visit: www.derby.gov.uk/degf . Alternatively call 01332 641628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .