There’s no denying the last few months have been extremely tough for our local businesses and it’s safe to say we are not out of the woods yet. One thing that has brought us a lot of joy (and pride) is the resilience and strength shown by many companies that have dusted themselves off and started the fight back to recovery.

One such business is KJN Automation in Peckleton, Leicestershire which has become the first company to receive a Business Growth Grant from the Business Gateway Growth Hub. This investment enables it to become the UK’s first sole distributor of a lighter, more versatile product using carbon fibre.

The Business Growth Grant offers from £2,000 to £25,000 in funding providing 35% of total project cost. It can be used for innovative technology products, premises improvement or expansion, or upgrading capital equipment. Have a look at this quirky animation for a bit more detail.

KJN is one of the country’s leading suppliers of extruded aluminium profile and accessories, servicing a wide range of industries including aerospace, motorsport, web and medical companies.  Just before the Coronavirus crisis, the business was about to launch its new carbon fibre product. After a short period of being closed the company is now open again, albeit in a staged manner, and hoping to get back on track.

The Business Growth Grant of £19,000 contributed towards the purchase of two mitre saws capable of cutting carbon fibre and aluminium profiles. Currently, KJN produces aluminium extrusion products which are used for modular systems, enclosures, desks etc. This new equipment will allow the company to produce new carbon fibre products as well, which will be lighter and more adaptable in different environments.

The new saws allowed KJN to increase productivity on their aluminium profiles and reduce delivery times. With the ability to do more, workloads increased and led to recruiting another team member.
Project consultant at KJN, Richard Andrews said: “Like most businesses, we also had to cease works during Covid-19, but hopefully having these saws already in place will allow us to get back up and running sooner than most.

“We are looking to move into larger premises, so being able to access this grant to support a small business like ours enabled us to expand much faster than we would normally.  The increase in productivity and product portfolio also allowed us to employ locally again which supports the area.”

We wish Richard and the rest of the KJN team all the best and say to them keep doing what you are doing, Leicestershire needs you!

The Business Gateway Growth Hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered in partnership by Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

If you’re interested in finding out more about grants or other finance options for your business, contact the Business Gateway Growth Hub. Call 0116 366 8487 or email [email protected]

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