Stratford-Upon-Avon Business Increases Productivity With Business Support and Funding

A shop fitting company is aiming to create new jobs after receiving £150,000 in grant funding.

Stratford-upon-Avon based ICM, which began life in 1998 as a one-man operation run by Managing Director Steve Lewis, has invested in top of the range machinery, as well as new air conditioning, flooring and computers thanks to a series of collaborative funding bids.

Through the purchase of a £250,000 5-axis CNC machine, the production side of the business has been transformed, with a quicker turnaround time than ever before achievable for its range of high quality interior features, which are fitted at a range of popular restaurants and bars across the UK.

The company is looking to create 10 new jobs this year and increase turnover by 30 per cent by 2022 following the recent investments, which have come together as a result of partnership working between Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support and Green Business Programmes that are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Steve Lewis said: “The business has changed and developed over the last 20 years, going from a one-man operation to 45 staff across two sites.

“Thanks to the funding we have received we are now about to enter what we believe will be an incredibly exciting period of growth for us.

“Purchasing the 5-axis CNC machine has revolutionised our processes, we are working with a range of new clients in the leisure industry and have expanded to work in airports.

“This purchase, alongside the equipment we purchased thanks to our work with Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council, has set us up for an exciting year.”

A range of complex funding applications had to be completed in order to secure the machine and accompanying improvements.

Gary Thyeson, Account Manager with the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, said: “This is a perfect example of successful collaboration to help contribute towards real business growth.

“ICM is a success story thanks to the hard work of Steve and his team and we are proud to contribute towards the next chapter of that story.”

Jagdish Soor, Warwickshire County Council Business Support, added: “Warwickshire County Council are delighted to have been able to assist ICM in their recent expansion phase through its various business support initiatives such as the Business Ready program delivered by our partners at UWSP.

“Using our expertise and experience, have navigated ICM through a complex RDPE grant application leading to a successful £133,000 grant award affording them to install essential, much needed automation into their manufacturing cell.”

Matthew Dillow, Green Business Programme Lead, said: “Replacing ageing air conditioning units across its sites has enable ICM to be more efficient in its use of energy, which in turn will lead to re-investing savings into becoming more competitive in the marketplace alongside providing an improved working environment for its employees.”

Kierandeep Bal, Business Development Advisor at Coventry City Council, said: “The grants each organisation has helped ICM secure, has helped contribute towards a major period of growth and create jobs so we are very pleased to have played a part in that.”

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