Business support programme helps Barnsley companies grow in 2013

A business support programme in Barnsley has helped create and safeguard nearly 400 jobs in 2013.

Enterprising Barnsley has helped to generate 277.5 jobs in the borough this year and protect* a further 119 posts.

The programme, which is delivered by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, provides free specialist business coaching to Barnsley-based businesses with growth potential, in areas such as marketing, finance, leadership, IT and branding.

Coun Roy Miller, Barnsley Council’s cabinet spokesperson for development, environment and culture, said:

“The latest figures from Enterprising Barnsley prove that, with the right support, businesses can go from strength to strength.

“This is tribute to the work of Enterprising Barnsley and the innovative and industrious attitude of people in the borough.”

One of the firms to receive input from the programme this year is G B Cullet, who convert unwanted double glazing units into broken glass – or cullet – which is used to make new products such as windows, bottles and loft insulation.

Brothers Gary and Bryn Hopkins, who set up the company in 2004, have overseen a £500,000 investment in the business, recruited seven more staff, and increased turnover by 50 per cent over the past year with Enterprising Barnsley’s support.

Gary said:

“We have invested a massive amount of time, effort and money in developing the business over the last 18 months and are very optimistic about the future.

“Enterprising Barnsley’s input has been invaluable and their ongoing support has been crucial in enabling our business to expand.

“Enterprising Barnsley business coaches provided us with assistance that has been instrumental to the growth of the business, such as helping us apply for grants and handle applications for planning approval.”

Other businesses given support include show experts Innovation Productions, who provide technical support to stars such as Elton John and Leona Lewis, and this year moved from West Yorkshire to bigger premises in Barnsley.

With Enterprising Barnsley’s support, work wear manufacturer Portwest took on 14 new staff and went into 24-hour operation at its Thurnscoe warehouse, increasing turnover by 30 per cent to £75m.

Another company that has benefitted from the programme is FAB Supplies, which has produced 100,000 bottles of their new flavoured alcoholic drinks, VIP Blue and VIP Pink.

Since the start of Enterprising Barnsley’s second phase in April 2012, 493 jobs have been created. This means the programme is on track to reach its target of supporting Barnsley companies to create 550 new jobs by September 2015.

Phase two builds on phase one of the Enterprising Barnsley programme, which supported the creation of 630 new jobs and the protection* of 397 posts between 2009 and 2012.

Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £2,259,511 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

Gary and Bryn Hopkins of GB Cullet

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