An Innovating for Success grant of £50,000 from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) is helping an Ulverston business to develop a stone cutting saw that is currently only available outside of the UK.
Accurite, started by Mark Brownlee in 1988, from the boot of a car, specialises in manufacturing and distributing new and refurbished machinery and equipment to the natural stone industry.
Success has seen the business expand and move from premises in Coniston, to Dalton-in-Furness and then to a purpose built factory at Ulverston in 2002. Five staff are now working at Accurite carrying out technology upgrades, automation, programming, refurbishment and the servicing and repair of equipment.
Accurite Industries Ltd also designs and develops unique, bespoke machinery on-site. Owner, Mark says that whilst the company stocks the largest selection of stone machinery in the UK, there is a gap in the market for a particular type of primary bridge saw.
As Mark explained:
“A bridge saw is a very large saw that runs on a beam or bridge and precision cuts stone, granite and marble. Over 90% of bridge saws used in the UK are imported from Italy or China. The CLEP grant has provided us with the opportunity to design and create a prototype that we can make here in Ulverston by providing 50% of the costs.
“We can also further develop the bridge saw to expand and improve the model range within the market. We will use carbon-friendly manufacturing processes and materials. Our ultimate aim is that through innovative and efficient manufacturing methods, the bridge saw is available in the UK at a lower price than equivalent competitors,” added Mark.
Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of the Cumbria LEP, said: “It is great to see businesses like Accurite using grant funding from the Innovating for Success programme to support their ambitions. We launched Innovating for Success to encourage small and medium sized businesses across Cumbria to invest in either innovating or decarbonising their business.
Mark is demonstrating how Innovating for Success has helped his business to create a sustainable product here in the UK, supporting his business to grow further. I wish him and the business every success with the new bridge saw.”
The LEP’s ‘Innovating for Success’ grant, was launched in September 2022. It has resulted in dozens of businesses being awarded a share of a £1million grant to either support innovation or cut carbon emissions. Grants were split into two areas:
- Innovation: Maximum grants of up to £50,000 to part fund initiatives that turn new ideas into commercially viable and deliverable propositions.
- Carbon reduction: Maximum grants of up to £20,000 to part fund practical projects that will help businesses reduce energy usage or increase renewable energy production.
Independent economic assessment by the LEP has confirmed that over a 10-year period, the Innovating for Success investments will deliver an additional £37million of economic growth, create an additional 97 full time equivalent jobs and save over 4,160 tonnes of CO2.
For more information about CLEP’s grants and support for businesses visit https://www.thecumbrialep.co.uk/