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Eureka! Inventors receive £30k funding

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A team of inventors and designers who develop products from hearing aid equipment to toys and hair straighteners has received funding to help continue its pioneering work.

Sheffield-based AME Group Ltd design new products and create high-specification prototypes for large companies or individual inventors.

The company, which has worked with Dyson, Proctor and Gamble, Hornby and Jaguar, has received a £30,000 Business Loan from Finance Yorkshire to fund new equipment which will allow them to carry out work many competitors are unable to.

Former coal miner Ian Jones established the company, he said: “I used to work as a mechanical engineer in the coal mining industry, but like many people I was made redundant and needed to transfer my skills to a new area. So in 1996 I established AME Group Ltd.”

AME Group designs and develops prototypes for a wide range of clients who are launching new consumer products.

Ian said:

“We offer product design consultancy and a wide range of rapid prototyping techniques. Our customers want prototypes to test parts of their design or to show them off and gauge interest. Many of the models have to be very high quality and like ‘The real McCoy’.”

The company, which is based on Carrera Court, Dinnington, has developed children’s toys, for example Scalextric cars and Hornby trains, as well as medical equipment and electronic beauty products.

AME Group also works closely with leading consumer product company, Proctor and Gamble, and has worked on more than 100 of its brands from designing the packaging of Pringles Crisps to developing the lid dispenser on Ariel detergent.

Ian added:

“We work in a niche industry and what makes us unique is the technology we have. The five specialist laser machines we run, which are worth between £100k – £250k, can work in very fine detail but because they are also expensive to buy, many companies use our services as they couldn’t justify having this kind of equipment in-house.”

Ian said he turned to Finance Yorkshire for assistance when one of AME’s laser machines needed repairing and for working capital to help fund the company’s rebrand and new website.

Ian added:

“This latest loan is a culmination of a long and good relationship. We have been very grateful to Finance Yorkshire who have been a great funding partner over the years when we have needed to buy or repair equipment.

“They have really taken the time to understand our business and are a pleasure to deal with, it’s great that Finance Yorkshire is on hand in the region.”

Finance Yorkshire portfolio manager, David Ward, said:

“We have enjoyed working with AME Group Ltd, the business has developed a top reputation by focusing on achieving the right balance between speed, quality, and cost which has allowed it to retain some high-profile blue chip clients.

“The loan will help AME Group to continue its work and complete the repairs to the five year-old laser which will mean the team can work quicker, continue delivering great results and attracting big name brands to the region.”

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com  or ring 0845 649 0000.

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David Ward, Finance Yorkshire portfolio manager (left) pictured with Ian Jones managing director of AME Group.

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