A grant of £125,000 which helped a Derbyshire firm expand its premises is also due to create new jobs and apprenticeships.
Akramatic Engineering, a well-established sub-contract sheet metal and fabrication company based in Alfreton, offers an end-to-end service, from initial design through to painting and powder coating, across a wide variety of sectors. With a growing reputation and increasing demand for their services the company started to experience capacity issues.
Shaun Newham, Akramatic’s General Manager, said: “Our original premises were restrictive. We had issues with limited space but also our powder coating facilities were located on the other side of a busy main road, making access and logistics unnecessarily complicated.
“We urgently needed to increase our capacity, to be able to bring in larger equipment to produce the larger items our customers wanted, whilst improving our processes around materials handling.”
The building next door to its original site on Alfreton’s Nix’s Hill Industrial Estate became available and – with the £125,000 grant from the Unlocking Investment for Growth (UI4G) programme, contributing towards a total investment of £600,000 – Akramatic were able to buy it outright and relocate their operation.
The D2N2 UI4G programme has been supported by the Regional Growth Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. UI4G grant awards are given by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Investment Panel, chaired by Board member Peter Gadsby. The aim of the fund is to create long term sustainable jobs.
Not only has Akramatic been able to safeguard jobs amongst its 30 employees but a total of eight new jobs will also be created by March 2016; with half of these positions being filled this summer (2015), including the recruitment of three apprentices.
With an extra powder coating line and extra space for assembly, the improvements in efficiency and productivity are already delivering results. Despite the disruption of a factory move, sales targets have been hit this year and excellent growth is predicted for next year.
Peter Gadsby, Chairman of the D2N2 LEP Investment Panel, added: “Akramatic Engineering will be reaping the benefits of having their entire operation under one roof. We are delighted we could help bring about this vital expansion and see so many jobs come to fruition.”
UI4G is now fully committed and is no longer accepting applications. Grants already approved will create over 400 new jobs and safeguard a further 350. The programme has inspired business owners in the D2N2 area to invest over £20million, alongside the grant support, to grow their businesses.
For media enquiries on this news release call D2N2 Communications Officer Sean Kirby on 01159 578749 or email email@example.com