Stone based printing and design firm Panda Press is one of the beneficiaries of a funding pot designed to promote the development of businesses in the region.
Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Grants for Growth initiative has been awarded a grant of £18,300 following a successful application, which it has used towards the cost of new equipment at their premises in Newcastle Street.
Last year, Stoke-on-Trent City Council received a £2 million cash boost after a bid to the European Regional Development Fund to further enhance the area’s economy. Companies in both the city and county can apply for grants from the fund – ranging from £10,000 to £250,000 – while demonstrating how a successful application will generate new jobs and lead to possible expansion, better efficiencies or new product development or research.
Panda Press has put its award towards the purchase of a state-of-the-art digital press to supplement the company’s existing output and technical capabilities.
Panda Press Director Nigel Passmore explained: “The fund has allowed us to add to our existing digital printing capacity with a high-specification press which has immediately improved our productivity and efficiency.
“The quality of the print and the colours we can now produce digitally is fantastic. Most importantly, it will enable us to find even more customers with high-end and exacting requirements, and ensure that we not only meet our clients’ brief but exceed their expectations. We have already seen growth as a result of this funding, which will in turn allow us to expand and capitalise on the investment.”
Meanwhile Nigel urged other small and medium sized Staffordshire businesses to apply to the fund, which is open until 2019 and can be used to support a range of development, including premises expansion and buying equipment. The funding will not be affected by the UK’s negotiations to leave the European Union.
Nigel continued: “The purchase of our new digital press is part of an exciting period of expansion and development for Panda Press, and has been housed in a new, highly specialist digital printing suite. We also plan a new client meeting room and refurbished reception area over the next few months. The help and support we received from the city council has been invaluable and we are delighted to have secured the funding. This will enable us to continue to be at the forefront of the print and design industry in our region.”
Angela Kidney, Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Grants for Growth Client Manager, said: “This is a great opportunity for small to medium sized companies in the region who are looking to grow their business and create jobs to receive a funding boost. One of our Stronger Together priorities is to secure investment to create jobs and help our businesses to thrive and grow, and this funding is one example of how we are doing that. I would strongly urge eligible businesses to get in touch and make the most of this funding opportunity.”
If you would like to check if your company is in an eligible sector then please register your interest by emailing the GfG Programme Team on G4G@stoke.gov.uk. Alternatively, speak to Angela Kidney, Grants for Growth client manager, by calling 01782 231586, or Vanessa Darlington, Enterprise Projects team manager, on 01782 233671. Further information on the Grants for Growth Programme is available on www.makeitstokestaffs.co.uk