Businessman John Gotts, who has been self-employed since the age of 22, formed Redruth-based Lasermaster in 2002 to provide a full and flexible laser cutting and laser profiling service along with metal folding and bending.

With demand for its services growing, advice was sought from Oxford Innovation (OI), with a recommendation made for the Access2Finance programme, a scheme designed to educate company owners about finance and grant funding available to accelerate business growth.

Says Gotts: “We had such high demand that our only press was working day and night and we couldn’t complete orders at the fast rate we prided ourselves on. Everyone recognised the need for additional equipment, but this involved a potentially massive investment and taking such a huge chunk of finance out of the business was difficult.

“Oxford Innovation not only provided reassurance and guidance on the process but also assisted with the application, ensuring that I understood what was required at every stage. As a result, we secured a grant for £56,869, which enabled me to purchase a much-needed press as well as a scanner, another vital piece of equipment for the business. We can now create ready copies of items with pinpoint accuracy, as well as quality control every piece we produce, and create templates for the full piece far more quickly than a team of draughtsmen ever could.”

Adds OI programme manager, Heather Coupland: “If other businesses are in a similar position, I’d urge them to contact the Access2Finance team for assistance. Each grant fund has various rules, targets and constraints attached, but we manage these every day and have a great working relationship with the awarding bodies, which allows us to simplify the process for the client.”

Image: L to R: Heather Coupland and Jackie George of Oxford Innovation, plus John Gotts