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Grant brings new jobs, factory and equipment for King’s Lynn steel firm

PUBLISHED: 17:29 15 July 2014

Neal Thurston outside Optima Stainless in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Neal Thurston outside Optima Stainless in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

A steel business is undergoing a £1.2m expansion which will bring 12 jobs, a new factory, equipment and vehicles to West Norfolk.

Optima Stainless on the Hardwick Narrows Industrial Estate, King’s Lynn, obtained a £120,000 grant from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Business Fund.

The LEP has been given an additional £12m by government to extend the programme to 2020.

Optima’s grant will cover 10pc of the cost of the new building, laser cutter, forklift and crane for the steel fabrication business.

Director Roy Thurston said: “The Growing Business Fund grant has given us the confidence to take our business forward much faster.

“A few months ago we were turning down work because we didn’t have the capacity for all the orders we were getting. We were embarking on a major expansion programme, but we needed new machinery much more quickly.”

He added: “The additional funding has paid for state of the art laser-cutting equipment which means we could bring forward our growth plans without the worry of us losing market share.”

The family-run business was established 22 years ago and its main work is providing mild steel, stainless or aluminium from stock in either standard sizes, or laser cut and folded to the customers exact requirements.

Their main customers are from industries such as food processing, transport, petrochem and agricultural companies.

Nataliya Klymko, growing business fund co-ordinator at New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said that Optima presented a “compelling” business case when they applied for the grant.

She said: “Helping to create high value jobs in the manufacturing and engineering sector is one of our key target areas for the Growing Business Fund. We are pleased that the fund has helped the company to implement their growth plans much quicker and we look forward to hearing from other businesses in west Norfolk and across Norfolk to contact us and apply for funding if they are thinking about investing and growing their business.”

The GBF is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and offers grants of between £5000 and £500,000. The funds can provide up to 20pc of the total funding need for investment. Each application must also create at least one job for every £10,000 worth of grant.

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