RBGS projects

Member Article

Expansion projects boosted by Marches LEP grants

A fund set up to help breathe new life into redundant buildings has handed over more than £24,000 to two Telford businesses which are expanding and creating new jobs.

The grants from the Marches LEP scheme are the first to be awarded for projects on industrial and business parks in Telford, with previous successful applications focusing on unused barns and buildings in rural areas.

Halesfield-based Trade Cooling Ltd has received a £21,000 investment from the LEP’s Redundant Building Grants Scheme for its project to expand its warehousing capability while creating a new suite of offices.

The company supplies refrigerated chiller cabinets and freezers to the convenience store market through a network of shopfitters and refrigeration engineers throughout the UK.

And £3,250 has been awarded to Exotic Zoo, an enterprise which offers educational sessions to schools and other organisations, animal therapy as well as offering fun days and private parties.

Chairman of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, Dr Geoffrey Davies OBE, said: “These are two very different businesses and we’re pleased we can help them in their efforts to grow their enterprises and create sustainable new jobs.

“It is important that in areas where buildings lie dormant, there is funding assistance available to help bring them back into productive economic use.

“These successful applications demonstrate the RBGS is available to eligible projects in town centres, rural and urban areas, including industrial units which may need structural alterations and refurbishment to make them fit for purpose.”

Managing director of Trade Cooling, Paul Kelly, formed the company after working for more than four decades in the refrigeration market. The business fills a gap in the market for direct supply of retail refrigeration via shopfitter and refrigeration contractors into UK convenience stores.

He said: “In June we moved into a warehouse at Epic Park in Halesfield which has two adjoining units. To maximise our warehouse space, we’re wanting to transform a redundant store building a few metres away from the warehouse which will give us dedicated office space. The grant will help us expand and create around six new jobs.”

Scott Adams, owner of Exotic Zoo, has been awarded a grant to turn an empty industrial unit in Donnington Wood into a base for his Community Interest Company. Exotic Zoo is expanding from a mobile educational business to a community education centre complete with indoor rainforest and a classroom, creating two new jobs.

He said: “This funding means I can move away from being home-based to having a space where the customer can visit for a more involved educational experience with animals. The inside is being transformed to look like a rainforest and will provide for a sensory experience of sight, sound, texture and smell.

“Schools will benefit from a first class local education centre and hard to reach and vulnerable groups in the community will have a safe environment for a variety of educational and therapy learning services.”

The projects are among the first to receive awards from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership scheme. The LEP won £1.5 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund last year to set up the scheme, which is open to applications from businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

The RBGS is aiming to create around 300 jobs across the Marches between now and 2014. Funding is available for capital grant support of between £3,000 and up to £50,000 to small businesses and start-ups to transform redundant buildings into a base for their enterprises.

Businesses interested in finding out more about the scheme or wanting to speak to the RBG team about their project can contact 01432 260662 or email rbgscheme@herefordshire.gov.uk

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Marches Local Enterprise Partnership .

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