A Norfolk-based abattoir, which supplies local butchers and wholesale establishments throughout East Anglia and London’s Smithfield market, is planning to develop its business with additional offices, a new IT system, and increased workforce, thanks to a £36,954 grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.
HG Blake will use the grant towards a £147,818 project at its base in Costessey near Norwich. The company will build a new modular office building to replace the existing offices, which were built to accommodate 7 staff and currently hold 16. It will also introduce a new integrated IT system, to replace the current, manual system for managing stock lists and processing orders.
The new IT stock management system will deliver full traceability from delivery through to dispatch and invoicing, thus allowing for swifter processing and more transparency throughout the process.
HG Blake will also take on four new members of staff as part of the project.
The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative is run by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with support from New Anglia LEP, Norfolk County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and the local authorities covering this area.
Grants are available to organisations looking to improve productivity and efficiency through investment in specialist equipment, new market and supply chain development and the application of Research and Development.
Chris Starkie, Managing Director of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: HG Blake’s plans will help modernise their process, improve productivity and staff welfare and create jobs. Not only that, it will help provide a better service in linking farms with the wholesale market – a vital role in our rural economy. We’re confident in the success of this project and delighted to support it.”
Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative Board and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, said: “This grant will enable HG Blake to improve its overall business efficiency while creating four new job roles and safeguarding existing jobs. I am looking forward to seeing the company’s continued growth and achievements and am pleased we have been able to support them with the Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.”
Andrew Clarke, Managing Director of HG Blake, said: “We are delighted that through our relationship with Anglia Farmers, we have secured a New Anglia Agri-tech Grant to help contribute to the expansion and development of HG Blake’s facility so that we can continue to develop a sustainable business for local farmers to send their livestock to be processed and serve butchers in the East Anglia region.
“The contribution will go towards the acquisition of a new office building, an integrated IT System, and enable us to further contribute to the local employment economy by enabling us to create jobs for either skilled personnel or bring people up through our apprenticeship scheme.”
The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative has two separate funds that are available for businesses. The first is an Agri-Tech Growth Fund, which provides grants of between £10,000 and £150,000 to support improvements in agricultural productivity. Whilst the R&D and Prototyping Fund will provide grants of between £10,000 and £60,000 to support the development of innovative technology. Find out more at www.agritechgrants.co.uk