Norfolk window films and graphics business sees bullet-proof growth

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SSAF Window Films
Small Grant Scheme
Grants of £1,000 – £25,000 available

Trailblazing Norfolk firm SSAF Window Films, which developed the first specialised film that reduces bomb blasts and bullet impact, is thriving after a grant injection to upgrade its office technology and buy an industrial printer.

Its range and knowledge of safety and security films spans 40 years, going back to when the first blast films were used to protect against bomb explosions in London. The family-run business in Martham created the first ‘100-micron’ blast film, which is approved by the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) and used worldwide by multi-national corporations, major military and nuclear bases, and even houses facing on to a cricket pitch!

After securing a contract in 2020 with retailer M&S to enhance all UK shopfronts, and to create internal shop and office graphics, Managing Director Steve Ashton wanted to invest in the company’s expansion and the company received a £3,490 grant through New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Small Grant Scheme.

Sales and Marketing Manager, Olivia Watts, says: “With the grant, we have installed a new ICT system, including PCs and handheld devices. I can now take a handheld to potential customers and immediately show them examples.

“It’s easier, it increases revenue and saves paper. Also, colleagues don’t have to come back to the office after a visit as they can log in remotely. When we entered the pandemic, we were able to use the new system straightaway. Without the funding, we would not have been able to work from home as required.”

Besides security applications, the business produces clear window films that reduce 45% of heat and tinted films reduce 60% of heat. Taking it a step further, it also makes mirrored applications which reduce 80% of heat and glare, give daytime privacy and reduce UV by up to 99%.

For the likes of M&S, Costa and smaller retailers and hospitality businesses, it has installed digitally printed custom wall art for shops and offices using self-adhesive films and light fast inks.

Soon after the M&S success, the company won a project for Audi at the Broadland Business Park where it installed window films that reduce heat in the summer and glare to help with comfort and work productivity in offices. “Businesses can come to us for signs, graphics, window film, embroidery for clothes and vehicle prints – we’re a one-stop shop,” says Olivia.

“Rather than buying branded work clothes in Manchester, lanyards in London and window films somewhere else, we can produce it all under one roof. It’s convenient for local businesses and it will help reduce their carbon footprint.”

Innovation is also on the agenda as the team has won a smart award for developing film that increases the strength of glass by 30%.

The team’s adaptability ensures that the business continues to grow – even during the pandemic when it made face screens and health and safety signs. Great projects are on the books, including installing solar and UV control films at Holkham Hall to help stop furniture fading. Business is thriving and looking to expand.

Managing Director Steve found the grant application straightforward and the business advisers at New Anglia Growth Hub supportive. He highly recommends the scheme to other businesses. “If we hadn’t secured the grant, we would have had to potentially temporarily close during Covid.”

Grants of between £1K and £25K can now cover up to 40% of total project costs (up from 20%) and you can find out more about the Small Grant Scheme here

Find out more to help grow your business. Check eligibility and contact New Anglia Growth Hub via

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