More jobs and new quilting centre for Hunstanton thanks to LEP funding

K&K Machines in Hunstanton has secured funding to invest in new specialist quiliting machines. ANL-141223-090944001
K&K Machines in Hunstanton has secured funding to invest in new specialist quiliting machines. ANL-141223-090944001

Hunstanton based K&K Machines has secured funding to install pioneering machines, create more jobs and set up a new quilting centre.

It is hoped that the centre will become another important tourist attraction for the resort.

K&K Machines, which is currently based at the rear of 22 Greevegate will be moving its operation to Harlequin House, near the seafront, where the new quilting centre will be housed.

The money from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growing Places Fund will enable the business to buy new patented machines which are the first of their kind to be built in Europe.

The investment will secure 9.5 new jobs, although appointments have already been made for some of these.

Director Henry Head, said: “We are expecting to move into the new premises in February or March. It will be a showpiece for tourists, who will be able to try out the new machines as well as look at the displays of quilts. We shall be selling all kinds of quilting fabrics as well as running courses for people of all levels, from beginners to more advanced.

“We make all sorts of covers, cushions and curtains. Recently we made some for a B&B in the town and we also sell to caravan owners who are carrying out refurbishments. In addition we also do a lot of general sewing and carry out repairs, such as inserting zips. We do logo embroidery for businesses and schools, too.”

“Without this funding, the development would either not have happened or happened much slower. With any innovation, it is most important to create critical mass quickly, thus keeping the competitors on the back foot. The funding has given us the long-term ability and confidence to do that.”

Then LEP funding has been used to manufacture and install specialist long-arm quilting machines. It has also created four new supplier jobs and safeguarded a further four.

Mark Reeve, chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said: “Investing in economic growth is an important part of the work we do here at the LEP. By providing accessible loan financing to K&K Machines we will help to create new jobs and ensure that businesses within our area can reach their full potential.

“As we have seen in the first round of funding, these loans enable new projects to come forward much faster than would have otherwise been possible, and then repay the money to allow us to invest in even more schemes in the future.”

The Growing Places Fund was originally allocated to the LEP in late 2011, and since then it has supported a range of projects across the LEP area designed to unlock stalled projects and initiatives that could help support the creation of new jobs and economic growth.