The University of Derby has awarded a Leicestershire business £97,650 to expand their business and make new international relationships.
Vitesse Global Ltd provides specialist engine, gearbox and ancillary components to a niche market in the automotive sector. The business, based in Hinckley, noticed that there was a gap in the market as British sports car manufacturers don’t offer automatic gear boxes to buyers, which limits sales as they are highly popular in some countries.
Morgan Motor Company was keen to work with Vitesse Global Ltd to produce an automatic gearbox, but they needed support. The funding from the University, which comprised of a grant of £65,000 and the remainder as a loan, has covered the costs of the mechanical design and software development, ultimately leading to the development of the final product.
Once Vitesse Global Ltd had a product, they launched an advertising campaign that has led to sales worldwide, including Dubai, France, UK and most recently have an order being manufactured for New Zealand.
Vitesse Global Ltd has been in discussion with a Chinese car company to arrange training so that their automatic gear boxes can be installed in China and has received requests to assist with other research and development projects.
Tim Henderson, Managing Director of Vitesse Global Ltd, said: “We saw there was a market, and we knew there was a demand, but we did not have sufficient investment capacity on our own. We saw Invest to Grow as the stepping stone, providing us with the time and input required to deliver the product.”
Invest to Grow has also enabled the business to employ three new staff members, with the hope to employ more, and increased their capacity for innovation and research and development. Vitesse Global Ltd now have an increased turnover and profit, as well as an increasing number of orders being placed internationally.
Tim Henderson added: “The business is now keen to explore opportunities to take on University of Derby graduates, either through placements or full-time employment.”
Mark Wheddon, Head of Strategic Programmes at the University, said: “We are pleased to support Vitesse Global Ltd with the expansion of their business that has led to new international relationships being created. The business has a lot to offer and we can expect great things from them in the upcoming months.”
In 2014, The University of Derby received £16 million for the Invest to Grow Fund from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The University has invested in local businesses in the East Midlands region over the last three years to support them in expansion and create hundreds of jobs.