When Ulverston-based lighting specialists Marl International were awarded a major contract by Transport for London, their first stop was the Growth Hub.
Such was the size and the short timescale of the £3m deal, the company recognised they needed funding to bring in a top-level consultant to help them. A Growth Hub adviser stepped in to guide Marl through the funding application procedure and ensure the right consultant was appointed.
“The contract represented a huge step-up for Marl, involving the recruitment of 20 additional staff and the reconfiguring of their existing factory lay-out to incorporate a new production line. They were under a lot of pressure, so it was the job of the Growth Hub to make things easier for them.”
The first step was to apply for a £2000 grant under the Growth Hub Subsidy Scheme which would go towards the £5000 costs of bringing in consultant Paul Myerscough of PRM Business Transitions.
His specialist skills would be vital to the project, so now it was a case of securing the subsidy. “With something like this, it’s often the case that businesses assume it’s going to be a complex and time-consuming process – but in fact it is designed to be as simple as possible and within a week it had been approved.”
We urgently needed a project management specialist to advise us on a major contract we had just won. The Growth Hub was very responsive and dealt with our application in just a few days.
He also drew in Cumbria Manufacturing Service, arranging a coordinated package of support to address Marl’s needs.
Cumbria Manufacturing Service offers eligible SMEs an initial review to help identify barriers to growth, and then works with them to identify a suitable consultant to deliver a solution, with grant support for that solution to enable growth.
Marl were able to secure a grant of £3000 towards the expected project costs of £10000 for ancillaries, such as patents and intellectual property, design, training, quality and standards, finance, IT/software, sales and marketing strategy and operational excellence and efficiency.
Adrian Rawlinson, Managing Director of Marl, says: “The Growth Hub was very responsive and dealt with the application very quickly. The funding was appreciated and important because it helped us enhance some of the internal project management systems and processes.
“It definitely made a difference and contributed to expansion of capability, which now includes an in-house capability to bid and manage design and manufacturing contracts on a larger scale than previously undertaken.”
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