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Coventry company gets it skates on for growth after support

A Midlands company has got it skates on when it comes to expansion thanks to an injection of new funding.

Sk8hire, a mobile roller disco company based in Coventry, has been awarded a £26,000 business grant through the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Investment Fund after being supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and its Accelerated Growth programme.

It was the perfect boost to help the business expand after facing tough times during the Covid-19 crisis and, as well as the funding, received help and advice through the programme to keep it on the right path.

The grant has gone towards a new vehicle which will help the company in its work with schools, community projects and promotional events.

The family-run business, which employs ten staff, has recently secured new work with Leicester Council and Brighton Council, with roller skating rinks planned in both cities for the summer months.

Heath Stone, Founder and Events Manager at Sk8hire, said: “The contrast between today and the hospitality shutdown back in 2020 is remarkable. The business was hit hard and we were forced to strip operations right back to basics.

“We are now looking optimistically to the post-pandemic future. Securing a new vehicle was something we pinpointed as key to our strategy going forwards and we’re thankful to the Chamber for helping us achieve this through the funding they’ve supplied.”

Heath first contacted the Chamber in 2010, when a £500 start-up grant took his roller disco venture from concept to reality – with the Chamber’s advice in setting up the business proving invaluable.

SK8hire is now hoping to win work with two further leisure centres in the coming months following on from its first weekly roller disco events outside of the Midlands in Andover and Plymouth.

It is also looking to use the backing to relaunch its international operations, following on from projects in Dubai, Hungary and Spain.

“We’ve been to Barcelona, Budapest and back again delivering roller discos to business functions, private events, after parties and festivals in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. It’s been a wonderful journey so far with ups and downs – which first began after our initial conversation with the Chamber twelve years ago”, said Heath.

Business Advisor, Helena Bassett, has been Sk8hire’s contact through the Accelerated Growth Programme. This project forms part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Stone added: “The Chamber have provided us with an amazing level of support over the years. Helena and her team believed in my business idea when others doubted me – which we are very thankful for.  We have learned a great deal from the advice given to me about business operations, which has stood us in good stead over time as the business has developed, diversified and grown.

“When grant funding has become available that Helena has thought would help Sk8 hit even greater heights, she’s put them to us straight away. Nothing has ever been too much – and I can’t recommend the Chamber’s services enough to fellow business owners.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Helena and the Chamber and are particularly grateful to them for putting their heart and soul into our business over the years.”

Helena Bassett, business adviser at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s been great to support Heath and the team at Sk8hire and watch them progress into the diverse business they are today.

“It’s been a very difficult time for many companies – so to be able to help a local business establish itself and progress through the winning of new business and offering employment opportunities for local businesspeople is really important to us.

“We’d encourage other businesses to get in touch with the Chamber to find out how we can support them and help to grow their company and the regional economy as a whole.”’

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Pictured: Heath Stone and Helena Bassett

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