This November, Hardy Signs, of Burton on Trent, played host to a range of local businesses and organisations at their local business grants, ‘Grant Access Seminar’.

Local Business Grants. More than 20 business were invited by the signage firm to their manufacturing facility ‘Hardy Place’ in Wetmore Road – along with representatives from various grant authorities. The informal event offered an insight into a number of business growth grants available to manufacturing industry and helpful hints and tips on how best to apply for them.

The award-winning signage company teamed up with Jones and Clark Industrial Supplies having already been successful in previous grant applications contributing to their continued growth.

“These Business Grants are often overlooked or disregarded by firms” explained Nik Hardy, Managing Director.  “It’s easy to assume that the applications are too difficult or there’s little chance of being successful. However, in our experience, these applications are much more achievable than they may first appear”.

Aiming to cut through the jargon and offer the latest useful information, the delegates first heard from the Christina Marshall of SBEN (Staffordshire Business & Environment Network) regarding Low Carbon Enterprise Grants worth up to £10,000 for businesses. Both Hardy Signs and Jones & Clark have been successful with this particular grant and were keen to demonstrate to local firms as to the benefits of applying.

Monica Douglas-Clark, Director of Jones and Clark then spoke regarding the company’s experience in grant application with a particular focus on the support offered by Keele University – represented on the day by Steve Hargreaves and Tim Gerber-Mellish of the Keele Research and Innovation Support Programme (KRISP). “There’s a huge support network in place for businesses” explained Monica. “We are in the midst of moving premises and the services and funding available has been a key element in our own growth as a business”.

During the event, businesses also heard from Pam Wallis of Burton Chamber of Commerce who spoke regarding the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) from which a wide variety of Grants For Growth and Grant Support are available.

Philip Somers from The Manufacturing Growth Programme also offered insight into the grants available to support business improvement.

Marketing Manager at Hardy Signs, Adam Bates, commented: “We’ve held this event, not only to help other businesses in the local area to take advantage of the grants available but also to dispel the myth that the application process is often too time-consuming and not successful”.

“We’ve found the event incredibly useful” concluded Darren Talbot, Operations Director of FSI. “Our eyes have been opened as to the wealth of funding and support available to those companies willing to access it. FSI are enjoying continued growth and we aim to investigate further as to the benefits that can be achieved… thank you to Nik and his team for holding this event”.

For more information, contact Adam Bates at Hardy Signs on 01283 569102 or email

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