Drone company business is flying thanks to Growth Hub

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A Norfolk drone and data acquisition business has expanded thanks to support and advice from New Anglia Growth Hub.

HexCam contacted the Growth Hub team to help it explore options to fund the purchase of a new RTK (Real Time Kinematic) drone.

Within three months, the business had applied for and received a grant, purchased the Phantom 4 RTK from Chinese-owned market leader DJI and significantly increased the scope  of the topographical surveying in its portfolio of work.

Since being offered to clients, the RTK service now accounts for 25% of turnover and it has helped cement HexCam’s reputation as a progressive company which embraces technology.

Mel Maritz, business growth and marketing strategist for HexCam, said: “The drone allows us to capture height data for topographical surveys with a very high degree of accuracy needed for construction and engineering projects. We can also survey buildings to reduce the need for laser scanning of otherwise hard-to-reach places.”

“Utilising a drone makes the collection of data faster and complements traditional surveying, which means more comprehensive data sets for our customers.”

HexCam, which is located in Drayton, near Norwich, received a grant for 60% of the cost of the RTK drone through Keep+, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Highlighting the ease of applying for funding with support from one of the Growth Hub’s business advisers, Mel added: “It was so easy and quick. If we had to fund the purchase ourselves, we wouldn’t have been able to buy the drone as quickly.  The funding has brought our investment decision forward.”

“The adviser pointed us towards the Keep+ grants and it was straightforward. The drone came onto the market in October 2018, by January 2019 we’d received the grant and in February we launched the new service.”

Guy Gibson, the Growth Hub business adviser who helped HexCam secure the grant, said working with HexCam had been “an absolute pleasure”.

“They are an enthusiastic, professional team who are open to discussing their aspirations for their company’s growth,” he said. “Once we had talked about what they wanted to achieve I was able to find the most appropriate, and most advantageous, grant stream to make it happen.”

The New Anglia Growth Hub is managed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Growth Hub, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), was set up in 2014 to provide a single place for businesses to access information, advice and guidance to support growth.

So far, the Growth Hub has provided over 45,000 hours of support to more than 9,000 businesses.

To find out more, visit www.newangliagrowthhub.co.uk or call 0300 333 6536 to arrange a free visit from a business adviser.


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