Bright future as lighting company makes the switch
A specialist lighting company from Herefordshire has transformed its production process and expanded its workforce thanks to support from the Marches Growth Hub.
Hector Finch Lighting Ltd received a £30,000 Business Growth Programme grant to help owners Hector and Emma Finch expand into new premises in Leominster. As a result of the move, the business has brought its manufacturing processes in-house and created up to eight new jobs.
It was supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership’s business support service, the Marches Growth Hub, delivered in Herefordshire by the LEP’s partners, Herefordshire Council.
Emma said: “The grant from the Business Growth Programme (BGP) supported the purchase of kit-out costs in our new home at Easters Court as well as creating a new loading bay and bringing the production in-house.
“The Marches Growth Hub was hugely helpful in supporting us to access the funding and we initially aimed to create three jobs but we’ve created more than that. The whole experience has been extremely positive for us.
“Our ability to grow since we have been at Easters Court has helped to deliver 50 per cent growth in the last two years. We would never have managed that in our old premises because we just physically didn’t have the space, either for the stock or the production, the boxes or the staff.”
Hector Finch Lighting designs and manufactures light fittings, about 80 per cent of which are exported to American interior designers working in high-end properties. The business also fulfils some commercial contracts with quality hotels and restaurants.
Emma said contract details for the new premises meant that the BGP application process was very time sensitive. The company was supported in the application by the Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire team from Herefordshire Council.
She said: “We worked closely with the Marches Growth Hub to put the application together as it can be demanding but it was an interesting process. In many ways, it helps you discipline yourself to really think about what you are wanting to achieve out of the project and to put together a business plan and really work the figures through in a meaningful way. I would say it was a pretty positive experience all round.”
Hector added: “With the new investment we have tried to make it much more of a full manufacturing process. What we buy in is the basic raw material, which is mainly brass, and we manufacture most of our components here on site with our new CNC machinery.
“The lights are then metal-finished and wired in-house. This is a big change on where we were a short time ago, when a lot of all the components, and the finishing and any painting, were all outsourced.”
Amongst the new employees are skilled local engineers who had previously been made redundant. Emma said the new premises were also helping to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, both by reducing the number of miles components were being transported and through better insulation and energy saving.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Birmingham City Council, the Business Growth Programme offers grants of £2,500 to £1,000,000 and is designed to strengthen supply chains, stimulate innovation and help businesses grow. The programme is available to both start-ups and existing B2B SMEs in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
Grant funding is limited and subject to availability for companies which meet the eligibility criteria.
For more information about the Business Growth Programme and other grants available to businesses, visit www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/