Precision engineering business KJN Automation, based in Peckleton, Leicestershire is the first company to secure a Business Growth Grant from the Business Gateway Growth Hub. This investment will enable it to become the UK’s first sole distributer of a lighter, more versatile product using carbon fibre.
The business 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 within the company portfolio. After a short period of being closed the company is open again, albeit in a staged manner, and hoping to get things moving.
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 produce 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 operative.
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 also looking to move into larger premises in the near future, 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.”
Growth Hub Manager, Jon Egley commented: “Businesses have needed more support than ever before during this difficult period. Our grants can help in the rebuilding and recovery of local SMEs, particularly those wanting to diversify into new areas. We also signpost businesses to all the other types of finance options they can access.
“It’s great to see KJN Automation back up and running and we’ll do everything we can to support them and other local businesses as we slowly come out of this pandemic.”
KJN have also taken advantage of funding for a new website and personal computers from the Digital Growth Programme and for new machinery through NBV and The iNet at Loughborough University.
The Business Gateway Growth Hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and run in partnership with Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP).
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