Following the award of the third phase of a grant from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Growing Business Fund, Smart Garden Offices has been able to continue investment at their manufacturing site in Thurston, Suffolk.
This third round of investment from The Growing Business Fund of £30,000 forms part of over £750,000 investment from Smart themselves to grow the company premises and to enable the company to deliver on the substantial increase in demand for their garden offices and studios; all created at the company’s manufacturing site in Thurston, Bury St Edmunds.
This third phase has enabled Smart to invest in the latest precision manufacturing technology, including a third CNC machine. Furthermore 2017 has seen the addition of sister company Zedbox to MD Charlie Dalton’s portfolio. Created to inspire and resolve the housing crisis in the UK, Zedbox is a self-contained studio apartment in the garden. Working alongside the already established manufacturing technology and knowledge of Smart Garden Offices, Zedbox mirrors the same manufacturing qualities and design excellence of Smart Garden Offices, whilst offering yet another product that can resolves a real long term solution to a growing housing problem.
These investments, have allowed Zedbox to flourish, creating a product that has become a viral sensation in the UK; Zedbox is enjoying more than five minutes of fame, with a continuing unprecedented response to the product.
The foundations of strong local support, a dedication to manufacturing excellence and customer service, and above all the want to solve an ongoing issue, has seen Zedbox have an exceptionally successful year.
Charlie continues to recognise how this grant has influenced the businesses ability to maintain an exceedingly high standard in manufacturing, inspire innovation and maintain relevance in a fast paced industry.
“The New Anglia LEP is allowing us to improve our infrastructure with the latest manufacturing technology, in turn giving us the opportunity to deliver on exciting and innovative products, such as Zedbox. All whilst maintaining our obsession with manufacturing the UK’s most loved garden offices, this is a rare and truly wonderful opportunity for business, an opportunity that is only made more accessible by the help and support the New Anglia LEP has provided”
The fund, which was launched in April 2013, offers grants of between £25,001 and £500,000, representing up to 20% of the expansion costs and must create one job for every £10,000 awarded. There is also a Small Grants Scheme which offers funding from £1000 to £25,000.
The strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk aims to grow the local economy, creating 88,000 new jobs, and 30,000 successful new businesses. Through an understanding of our changing and advancing economy, and desire to make Norfolk and Suffolk thrive, the New Anglia LEP understand where their investments will truly create the biggest impact.
The partnership encompasses Zedbox & Smarts desire to make a positive impact on the ever changing social and the economic landscape in the UK, as chairman Doug Field highlights in the New Anglia LEP’s strategy. “Our Economic Strategy reflects the evolving needs and opportunities of our growing local economy and how it responds and succeeds in a fast changing world.”
To read more about Smart’s initial investment and use of phase two of the Growing Business Fund click here.