Local enterprise grant hits Le Mark for growing Houghton company

Le Mark'’s managing and sales director, Linda Gibbons, with Signpost 2 Grow navigator, Joe Watson.

Le Mark'’s managing and sales director, Linda Gibbons, with Signpost 2 Grow navigator, Joe Watson. - Credit: Archant

A Houghton company in the arts and entertainment industries has secured a funding boost to help support its continued growth and create jobs.

Le Mark, based on Houghton Hill Industries, has been given a grant of more than £15,000 by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, through its Signpost 2 Grants scheme, to invest in new machinery.

The fund has helped the company purchase a computer-aided manufacturing slitting machine, a new server and an automatic log slitter.

Steve Exon, non-executive director at Le Mark, said: “The speed of expansion and the pressure that is put on our manufacturing was having a negative impact on the company. With the help of the grant, Le Mark has invested in a relatively unique slitting machine that has tripled production.”

The new equipment is now in place at Le Mark’s base and is allowing the company to fulfil orders quicker and continue to serve a global client base. It will also assist the firm to improve order turnaround times and increase the product offering.

The investment has already led to the creation of a new job, and it is expected three further jobs will be created.

“Without the grant, we would still have purchased the machine, but it would have probably been 12 months down the line. The process and paperwork for the grant were both extremely easy to navigate and within three months the machines were in production,” added Mr Exon.

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Signpost 2 Grants is designed to support small to medium enterprises that are keen to invest in its growth.

Chief executive of the enterprise partnership, Neil Darwin, said: “The complex machinery required by Le Mark to continue to improve business is costly, so we are pleased to be able to support their continued investment in growth by providing them with Signpost 2 Grants funding.”

Le Mark supplies the global arts and entertainment sector with dance floors, staging and other equipment and even provided the London skyline flooring for the 2012 Olympics openning ceremony.

To find out more about the sort of funding available, go to www.signpost2grants.co.uk.