Business supports opens way for Farm Services growth
"Investing in new machinery was something we wanted to do, but it was a big investment for us - the grant gave us the confidence to go ahead and make it work."
To do something that hardly anybody else does is a strong basis for a business - Farm Services are in that enviable position and targeting a period of further growth and recruitment after harnessing business support through Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council.
Based in Lighthorne, Farm Services tackles highly specialist work which involves heavy machinery and large-scale projects executed to millimetre-accurate precision. They are drainage specialists, laying the pipes which bring land which would otherwise be prone to waterlogging into safe and productive use.
Most of their customers are in agriculture but their expertise is versatile. Their systems have been applied in construction, at professional football clubs and elite golf courses, and in the elephant house at a zoo!
Farm Services are just another example of the amazing skills which exist, quietly and often unheralded, within small Warwickshire businesses - and now this left longstanding family-run firm, founded in 1942, is looking to the future with confidence accessing two pools of grant funding.
A £157,420 Rural Development Programme for England grant enabled the purchase of a specialist drainage machine for pipelaying. This mechanical powerhouse, equipped with GPS technology, is at the very forefront of technology so needs to be looked after diligently. That's where a £10,000 European Regional Development Investment Fund grant came in, enabling the construction of a brand new maintenance facility in which to house the new machine and provide space for cleaning and repairs.
Together the grants have left Farm Services well-placed to add the next chapter to their proud history.
"Investing in new machinery was something we wanted to do, but it was a big investment for us," said Farm Services director Robert Burtonshaw. "Receiving the grant gave us the confidence to go ahead and make it work.
"The new machine has the very latest technology, bouncing data off satellites 30,000 miles away to ensure the pipes we lay in the earth are accurate to the millimetre. It means we can now keep pace with change or, ideally, be ahead of it.
"They also secured the jobs we already provide and led us to recruit. We have employed four people this year and are looking to recruit further, offering well-paid, long-term jobs.
"The smaller grant for the new barn was also very important. Depending on the weather, the new machine can be resting for weeks so it is vital to have a safe place
to store it so that is kept clean and well-maintained. The new barn is the start of our development of the whole yard which will really help us to grow so we are really grateful for the business support,"
Steph Williams, of Warwickshire County Council's Business Support Programme, said: "Farm Services are another example of the high skills and innovation which Warwickshire businesses bring to so many sectors.
"I am delighted that ourselves at the county council, along with our colleagues at Coventry City Council, have been able to support them and be part of their growth journey."
* The advice for the company was delivered as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Warwickshire County Council.
To find out more about the range of support available to grow your business, please contact the Growth Hub on 0300 060 3747.