University’s Invest to Grow funding helps Derbyshire firm create new jobs

A Derbyshire business has secured funding from the University of Derby to install new equipment and create jobs.

Ilkeston-based Dales Fabrication, which works across the UK with architects and contractors to enhance the appearance of buildings, received £42,000 of Invest to Grow funding to install an improved in-house powder coating plant and updated guillotine operation.

Dales Fabrication’s new powder coating plant became operational in November 2018 which has led to increased in-house capacity, speed and reliability.

The company has created four new jobs, including two apprenticeships, since the installation. One of the apprentices recently completed a degree at the University of Derby, and the company is hopeful the second will start an engineering degree in 2020.

With the increased success of the new machinery, Dales expects turnover to continually increase over the next year and beyond. The company has recently been recognised as one of the 30 organisations in the UK to receive the prestigious full applicator approval from industry coating leaders, Syntha Pulvin.

Karl Prosser, Managing Director of Dales Fabrication, said: “After the first few weeks we realised the high levels of quality and consistent finishes coming from the plant. The funding from Invest to Grow has directly led to four new jobs including two new apprentices, an additional person in the factory and an additional driver.

“Our apprentice had a great experience on the degree programme at the University of Derby, achieving a 2:1. It is a great process as they get to complete a degree whilst also gaining valuable experience in industry.”

The University of Derby’s Invest to Grow scheme provides grants and loans to support private-sector businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs.

Mark Wheddon, Head of Delivery for Invest to Grow, said: “We are very pleased to support Dales Fabrications Ltd with this Invest to Grow award for the next phase of their growth and production improvements.

“The development of new services will benefit their customers leading to the business expansion and the creation of jobs. We very much look forward to building on this relationship and to continue working with them on collaborative opportunities with the University.”