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Here to Help – Marches Growth Hub support helps drive engineer’s growth

A Herefordshire business says it has been able to take on new staff and enjoy significant growth thanks to help from the Marches Growth Hub.

Engineering company Wye Cylinder Engineering (WCE) has seen its turnover grow by almost £1million in the last 12 months and staff numbers rise 16 per cent to 56 after tapping into support from the hub’s Herefordshire team.

Richard Williams, managing director of the company, which is based at Rotherwas in Hereford, said the growth would not have been possible without ongoing support from the hub – the business support arm of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

Growth hub help has seen the company access funding programmes allowing it to invest in more efficient and modern machinery and it now has further expansion in its long-term sights.

Richard said guidance provided by Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire manager Lyndsay Francis and her team had been invaluable.

“The team at the Growth Hub has always been really helpful and has made it easy to talk honestly about our business needs. You get a sense that once they understand those needs, they’re genuinely supporting you to submit a successful application.”

WCE has benefitted from a £20,000 grant from the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) which enabled it to invest in new CNC machinery to drive greater energy efficiency and productivity.

Richard added: “This not only increased our productivity, but also accrued yearly energy cost savings and reduced almost 25 tonne of carbon a year.”

It has also worked with the hub – which is delivered by Herefordshire Council – to successfully apply for a £20,000 grant from the Business Growth Programme (BGP2) to support the purchase of a new £45,000 paint drying oven which has increased capacity and improved the finished product.

The company is now planning to work with the hub to apply for a Small Equipment Grant to finance the purchase of welding equipment to further improve and speed up overall timeframes and is also considering bringing all its operations together on one purpose-built site.

“Financially I think we’re in a strong position to consider such a move, but strategically we might struggle. The planning that goes into a big development of that kind, the manpower it would require, and the myriad of considerations to make it a success – not to mention the actual build process itself – is something we’d need support with. I’d certainly look to the Marches Growth Hub for guidance at that time.”

Dave Courteen, Marches LEP Small Business Champion, said WCE’s growth was evidence of the success that support from the Marches Growth Hub could bring.

“The Marches Growth Hub is here to help all businesses and support them in their ambitions to grow. When you take a successful company such as WCE and add in the fantastic support which the Marches Growth Hub can provide, the results are clear to see.

“The longstanding relationship which WCE has built up with Lyndsay and her team has played a significant part in the company’s growth.

“I would urge any business which has not yet taken advantage of the Marches Growth Hub support to do so as soon as possible so that we can work with them to bring their own growth plans to fruition.”

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Wye Cylinders has increased the size of its workforce.

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