Two County Durham catering equipment firms receive share of £2m grant

EB Granite crop
Peterlee-based fabricator EB Granite used its County Durham Growth Fund grant to invest in new machinery.

Two County Durham-based catering equipment companies have benefitted from the latest round of County Durham Growth Fund grants.

The capital grant scheme provides financial support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in County Durham to help accelerate their growth. The fund is managed by Business Durham, the business support service of Durham County Council in partnership with investor, UMi.

The latest round of £1.98m grants has been awarded to 17 companies from across the county, which will create 278 new jobs.

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The two catering equipment sector beneficiaries are Peterlee-based fabricator EB Granite and Seaham-based web-dealer, RG Distributors, which trades as eCatering.

EB Granite, which creates stone counters for bars and restaurants, invested the grant in new machinery to improve efficiency and increase capacity.

Mark Ellis, co-founder of the company, said: “The business has grown every year since it was set up and the demand for our services was continuing to increase. We knew there was scope to bring in a lot more work but the machinery we had was outdated, around a decade old, and just wasn’t working as quickly and efficiently as we needed it to.

“We know we have an excellent reputation within the industry and people travel from all over the region for our products and services. The demand is there and with the investment we’ve made in the new machinery, with the funding we received from the Durham County Council programme, we know we’re now ideally placed to bring in bigger contracts that often require a faster turnaround.”

Cllr James Rowlandson, cabinet member for resources, investments and assets at Durham County Council, said: “2021 was a fantastic year for the County Durham Growth Fund, despite the difficult business conditions created by the pandemic. Last year we have helped 17 local businesses with their growth plans, which are expected to create 278 new jobs for the county.

“These companies are great examples of the innovative and ambitious small and medium-sized businesses located across our area and we at Durham County Council are very proud to have been able to support them, as they expand and flourish. It is by investing in ambitious firms like these that we will be able to ensure healthy economic growth and plenty of job creation for County Durham now and in the future.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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