Pandemic growth drive pumps £4m into Norfolk and Suffolk businesses

Mirus CEO Ben McGuire.

Mirus chief executive Ben McGuire has welcomed a £250k growth grant from Anglia Growth Hub as his aircraft seating company looks to expand - Credit: Derron Tomlin

An energy industry recruitment firm and an aircraft seating maker are celebrating grant windfalls during the coronavirus pandemic which will help them grow.

People with Energy (PWE), based in Beccles and Lowestoft, and Mirus Aircraft Seating at Hingham, near Wymondham, scooped two out of the 273 grants worth a total of £4m which were doled out through a business growth drive across Norfolk and Suffolk in 2021.

People with Energy managing director Stuart Smith

People with Energy managing director Stuart Smith is delighted with the Anglia Growth Hub grant which has helped the energy sector recruitment firm upgrade its IT systems - Credit: PWE

Mirus was awarded £250k from New Anglia Growth Hub’s Growing Business Fund to build the largest commercially available aircraft seating test facility in the UK while PWE scooped £7,488 towards an IT upgrade – a fifth of the total cost.

Construction began in September on Mirus’s 407m sq facility which is due to be officially opened in July 2022.

Chief executive Ben McGuire said: “The addition of our very own in-house testing facility is a momentous milestone for Mirus and a significant investment in the local economy. This will improve our capabilities right across the business, by reducing programme lead times, increasing our technical knowledge, and strengthening our overall competence.”

PWE managing director Stuart Smith said its award – through the hub’s Small Grant Scheme offering between £1k and £25k towards projects to help businesses grow – resulted in an upgrade which would benefit the business.

“This is no small cost, so we were delighted to be awarded a grant. On behalf of everyone at People With Energy who will be using faster computers, and receiving full training on improved software, we’d like the thank everyone involved in approving the application,” he said.

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The schemes are part of the business growth programme delivered in two counties by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Growth Hub received more than 3,000 phone calls and 2,650 emails during the year, which it said showed the significant role it played to help mitigate some of the worst impacts on business of the pandemic.

Sam Vinyard-Jones, manager of New Anglia Growth Hub, said: “It’s been another incredibly busy year during which our team has been an invaluable support service for companies trying to survive and grow in extremely challenging conditions.

“So often small business owners don’t know who to turn to – whether they are looking to expand or simply survive – and our experienced team of advisers can help them access grants, start-up advice and other specialist support, all through a single point of contact.”

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