Benefit from an important new investment fund to assist small and medium-sized businesses

27 Nov 2009

A Taffs Well firm has become the first in Rhondda Cynon Taf to benefit from an important new investment fund to assist small and medium-sized businesses.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Business Support Unit is distributing the funding to enable the county’s firms to purchase a range of products that will enable them to develop and grow. The Council is keen to hear from businesses who may be able to take advantage of the support offered.

First to receive support from the Local Investment Fund, which is delivered in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government using the European Regional Development Fund, was Insteng Process Automation Ltd on the Moy Road Industrial Estate.

Managing Director Gareth Burris heard about the Local Investment Fund from the Welsh Assembly Government and, as he had previous positive experience with the Business Support Unit, decided to apply.

He secured £3157 to purchase a new electronic calibrator machine that has dramatically improved performance at the firm, which opened in 1974, moving to Taffs Well in 1981. Insteng currently employs 21 staff.

The investment has enabled the streamlining of a process that used to take up to 10 machines to complete down to just one machine, cutting production time, cost and energy usage.

The machine has already allowed the company to remain competitive in today’s challenging climate and, when it becomes fully functional and operated via electronic software, is set to further boost the business.

Cllr Paul Cannon, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Housing, said: "Congratulations to Insteng Process Automation Ltd for becoming the first of what we hope will be many local firms to benefit from this important new scheme.

"We are proud of the work we have carried out to date to provide assistance to business of all shapes and sizes that are looking to improve and expand and are pleased the new funding has enabled us to continue that.

"I urge local small and medium-sized enterprises that are interested in finding out more to make contact so we can work with them and assess if we can help.

"Of course, administering the Local Investment Fund is just a small part of the Business Support Unit, which is working in many ways to assist the local economy, including via the Business Club."

Gareth Burris, Managing Director of Insteng added: " This equipment will significantly help us to support customers in our activity in calibrating electrical and process equipment.

It will also be a considerable help in our other areas of work such as industrial equipment hire, automation systems building and instrumentation sales.

A further benefit of this equipment is that it reduces our holding of primary standards and therefore the cost of maintaining them.

The total cost of this equipment with the software was £10,000, so without the funding this expenditure would have been beyond our reach."

The Local Investment Fund is being delivered via the Convergence Programme, a massive regeneration initiative set to be on the scale of its predecessor, Objective One funding.

It aims to provide support to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, especially those in the manufacturing sector, but others will be considered.

It enables firms to apply for investment of between £1000 and £5000 to pay for up to 40 per cent of the total project costs.

Grants can be used for projects such as capital or ICT equipment, creating a website, improvements to the interior or exterior of the premises and even marketing materials.

It is hoped the assistance will be awarded to those firms who can show the Business Support Unit their commitment and contribution to the local economy and community, such as the creation of new jobs or service.

For more information, contact the Business Support Unit on 01443 495169 or email