Agne Rucinskaite (left) with Nick Clegg and other small businesses from Access for All
Clare Burnett

Member Article

Nick Clegg visits Leeds SME’s to highlight government support of small businesses

Moments Coffee and Harrison Spinks, the luxury bed manufacturer were visited by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg today (January 9).

The visits served to highlight the government’s commitment to the Regional Growth Fund which has come under criticism most recently from the National Audit Office in December.

Bdaily attended the visit at Moments Coffee, Leeds’ newest independent coffee shop today, hosts of Access for All, a support programme for small businesses.

Moments founder Agne Rucinskaite attended the workshop event with nine other growing businesses aimed at helping small firms to solve their most pressing challenges and to become more profitable.

The workshop event was led by business woman and retail expert, Kate Hardcastle of Insight with Passion, who emphasised the need for small businesses to bridge the disconnect between what customers expect and what they receive with passion

Originally from Lithuania and a teacher, Agne opened Moments in July 2013 started the business, employing UK staff and contributing directly to the local economy.

Nick Clegg said of Moments: “We need more businesses like yours encouraging others to set up and direct the significant number of government funding assistance available through www.gov.uk and local government agencies.”

Moments owner, Agne Rucinskaite said: “After 10 years learning my trade in the UK, I have started a coffee business that creates local jobs and supports regional businesses.

“It has not always been easy and we need help to continue.

“Business and government leaders, locally and nationally really need to turn intent into action - like we do - and make business support services more accessible and to address some of the bigger and immediate challenges we face, such as growth funding for small businesses as well as big, development support, rents, rates and even city centre parking charges.”

Harrison Spinks

The purpose of the Deputy Prime Minister’s visit to Harrison Spinks was to review progress of the Company’s successful bid and award of £2.2million from the Governments Regional Growth Fund.

The RGF funds will help stimulate the Organisation’s Spring and Luxury Products innovation projects and will facilitate entry into new commercial markets both in the UK and Overseas.

The RGF contribution will help fund Harrisons Spink’s Research and Development project investment over the next five years and it is expected that these projects will create an additional 138 direct jobs within the Company helping to boost the Yorkshire region.

Delighted with the successful bid Simon Spinks, Managing Director of Harrison Spinks stated: “The pursuit of luxurious comfort in our Harrison and Somnus beds has led us to revolutionise mattress construction through the innovation and use of miniature pocket springs.

“Adopting the ‘Dyson’ approach to influence the innovation culture within Harrison Spinks, the RGF funding allows us to accelerate our Research & Development in high performance spring technology to be developed further for use in mattresses, upholstered furniture, cot mattresses, car seats, office chairs and even foot wear.”

The company was awarded two Queens Awards for Enterprise, one for Innovation and the other for Sustainable Development, made annually by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Commenting on the RGF funds awarded, Harrison Spinks managing director, Simon Spinks, said: “The RGF funds will help the business bring these new products to market in a shorter timeframe, whilst boosting skilled employment in the Yorkshire area”.

“It is fantastic to be supported by the RGF, which will only help to drive our business forwards. Harrison Spinks are pioneers of innovative sprung comfort and it is my belief that research, development, innovation and people are the key to being a successful British manufacturer on the world stage”.

“Harrison Spinks’ path to sustainable and successful growth was set through the development of our patented and most comfortable pocket springs in the world for our luxury mattresses.

“Pursuing comfort through invention has driven our success to find alternative markets for our unique spring technology”.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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