Business Development Grant will take us to the next level

19th December 2014 - Fine Cut

The end of 2014 marks the end of a highly successful year for us here at Fine Cut.

A few months ago, we were awarded a significant grant from the Coast to Capital regional growth fund, which has already made a significant difference to the way we operate and represents a huge step forwards in helping us achieve our aims over the coming years.

One thing we have always prided ourselves on is keeping an eye on developments within our industry - new technology and new processes to improve efficiency and add value for our customers, for example.

With this in mind, we've been using the grant to considerably invest in our facilities, adding a new 5-Axis milling machine to complement the one we already have, along with a state-of-the-art 7-Axis robotic measuring and scanning arm.

But what does this mean for the company in human terms? At a time when - in some areas - manufacturing is perceived as a dying trade, we are continuing to create new jobs for people. 

"It's about keeping manufacturing British, and using British engineers," says Fine Cut tooling manager Grant Sutherland. "This financial support enables us to buy more machinery that enables us to take on more people. Getting the right people into the right jobs - that's really important to us."

As an organisation, Fine Cut has always strived to improve itself through new technology - and we've come a long way since we started 12 years ago with three members of staff in a shed with very minimal machinery.

"The business growth has always been there and Coast to Capital has seen that and understood that we're continually looking to move forward," Grant explains. 

"We were able to put a good case forward about our desire to employ more people and investing in the future. In the past, we've made this investment out of our own pockets and this has shown that we mean business."

It goes without saying that machinery in our industry isn't cheap, and there are very few companies that can afford to buy such facilities off their own backs. As a result, the Coast to Capital fund is a fantastic thing not only for us, but for smaller firms up and down the country, helping us to achieve things that might otherwise have taken us much longer to do.

"If you can't get new machinery, you do get left behind," Grant admits, adding: "We've invested time and effort into looking ahead for the company and what's coming up around the corner." 

What's inspiring about the industry is that there's always something new that can make a positive difference on the way we operate, and we go to as many trade exhibitions as we can to keep our finger on the pulse.

One thing for certain is that this is an exciting time for everyone at Fine Cut, and Grant explains why.

"We've had one 5-Axis machine for several years, and in a way that's limited what we can do. However, with two you can start competing with bigger companies for better contracts.

"Once you're successful there and are bringing more money in, it allows you to invest in more machines, our rate of growth could really start to snowball.

"With the machines we have now, we can play with the big boys - 2015 is set to be a huge year for us." 

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