A specialist engineer is enjoying impressive success after starting his own business less than a year ago, thanks to support from the Marches Growth Hub.
Nathan Farlow started MassTech Solutions in Telford after being made redundant in 2021. The start-up, which specialises in the manufacture of precision engineered components for scientific instruments and equipment, secured a Business Growth Programme (BGP) grant to support start-ups capital costs, including the purchase of a CNC machine.
The business launched on January 1 this year and Nathan has already been able to take on a full-time and a part-time employee and expects to take on another early next year.
Nathan said: “Starting a business was always an ambition of mine for later in life, but being made redundant prompted me to start it now.
“We’ve grown quite rapidly in such a small amount of time. We have got the machinery we needed to get production under way and I am looking to maximise space so I will be looking to install a mezzanine floor so we can expand our footprint.
“Our next project will be building a self-contained inspection area, a clean room, and installing more equipment for fully-automated inspection for the components we manufacture.”
He added: “I heard about the funding from Marches Growth Hub, so I contacted them directly and they put me in touch with Enterprise Telford. We began the process of going through our requirements, what we needed funding for, which then led us to BGP.
“Further support I received from Marches Growth Hub was via a Step Up programme with Good 2 Great. Pre-start-up, it was weekly sessions of business mentoring. I found that extremely useful, especially while I was going through the process of initiating the business.
“As we are developing and growing the business, I am going on further masterclasses with Good 2 Great to help with growth.
“Applying for the BGP grant was very intense just because of the volume of information that was required, but I felt the support given to me to help me through that process was very useful.
“My advice for companies looking for additional support is, get in touch with the Marches Growth Hub, look at what’s available and take whatever help is available to you. At the end of the day, it’s going to help the business.”
The Business Growth Programme 2 (BGP2) grant is a European Regional Development Fund scheme delivered by Birmingham City Council on behalf of the Marches LEP in the Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin area.
BGP2 is designed to strengthen supply chains, stimulate innovation and help businesses grow and offers start-up grants of up to £2,500 and up to a £1million for established SMEs which meet eligibility criteria.
The Marches Growth Hub offers FREE support and guidance to businesses on BGP2 including advice on eligibility and help with the application process.
MassTech’s products range from parts for electro-mechanical assemblies to mass spectrometers. Its customers are UK-based but they supply worldwide.
Nathan aims for MassTech to be ISO9001 accredited by the end of 2022. He said: “The ISO accreditation will give us credibility, as we are still less than 12 months old. We take quality very seriously, and we want to be able to provide a good service and quality components to our customers.”