CWRT support powers growth for Above and Beyond
An expanding Warwickshire events company is on target to double its growth and increase its workforce following a move to new premises after receiving support from Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT) and two County Council-backed funds.
Above & Beyond Solutions, an event design and stand company, was set-up in 2021 by Sam Stockmans after he had worked in the events industry for 15 years.
After passing the £1 million turnover milestone in its first 18 months, its ten-strong team moved into new premises in Princes Drive in Kenilworth last summer. The business is on course to recruit another four employees and reach £2.2 million turnover by the end of its second year of trading in February 2024.
Their success is in part due to receiving £135,000 from the Duplex Investment Fund, which is a combined grant and loan, and is an initiative launched between Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT), Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
The Duplex Fund is aimed at businesses that are looking to employ new staff members and to generate cash for investment projects. It is a new way to help finance capital investments by Coventry and Warwickshire businesses. This innovative and unique scheme for the financial market has, to date, created over 100 jobs across Coventry and Warwickshire and supported over 50 SMEs.
Above & Beyond Solutions has also received finance from Warwickshire County Council's Local Communities & Enterprise Fund (LCE), delivered by CWRT, which is a programme that supports local communities, existing businesses and enables new start-ups to seek finance they may be unable to access from their local bank.
Over this short period, Above & Beyond has built an impressive list of clients across the UK and Europe ranging from BBC Music and Coventry University to Gymshark and Burger King for its services which include launching exhibitions and events, ticketing and sponsorship acquisition.
“The grants and loans have made a huge difference to turning our plans into reality because it enabled the business to grow from five to ten employees and improved our cash flow,” Sam said. “We used some of the money to buy a build system called Aluvision. It’s a metal framework with tension stretch fabric so it can be re-used at different exhibitions and shows which makes it more sustainable.
“The funding also helped with moving to a 4,000 sq ft warehouse in Kenilworth and we are already full and are looking to buy the next-door premises “We are looking at extending the warehouse and the team by another four members of staff because we want to carry on growing.
“The loan really helped with being able to grow at a quicker pace because we deliver events Europe-wide as well as throughout the UK and this is a really exciting time.”
Sheridan Sulskis, CEO of CWRT, said: “We are thrilled to stand alongside Above & Beyond Solutions as they embark on this exciting journey of expansion. This strategic investment aligns with our mission to empower local entrepreneurs, stimulate economic growth, and contribute to the fabric of our vibrant community. I’m looking forward to watching Sam’s success over the years to come."
Cllr Martin Watson, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Economy, added: “We’re delighted to see the success of Above and Beyond. Along with our partners, we seek to support local businesses which is, of course, of tremendous benefit to our communities with the employment opportunities they provide. This particular business has accessed two sources of funding from the County Council which is a testament to the breadth of our offer.”
To find out more about funding options from CWRT and how they can support your local business, visit www.cwrt.uk.com or call their team on 02476 551 777.