Funding boost of £34,607 will help King’s Lynn firm expand

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Lynn’s Sharp Systems Ltd is set to benefit from £34,607 in funding via the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative which will help the business to expand and create more jobs.

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP), through the initiative, have just awarded almost £215,000 for industry in the Fenland and Norfolk areas, including bespoke equipment manufacturers, Sharp Systems, based at Hamburg Way on North Lynn Industrial Estate.

Uphouse Farm, award-winning poultry farmers based at South Raynham, has been awarded £33,205 through the scheme, which will be used to buy and install computer software and ancillary equipment into 16 poultry houses.

Sharp Systems manufactures bespoke processing and handling equipment for the food and drink industry. The funding will be used to buy a folding machine to improve precision and accuracy. The machine will free up staff resources, resulting in less handling damage, increased production, reduced costs and improved product quality.

Paul Sharp, managing director of Sharp Systems Ltd, said: “The funding will allow us to invest in the latest technology in stainless steel folding equipment, helping us become more competitive, improve lead times and help secure existing jobs, as well as creating new ones in the future.

“This Agri-Tech grant is a first for us in our 25 year history and I am delighted to be receiving it on behalf of my company.

“It will enable us to continue our recent expansion and investment programme, as well as helping us with our commitment to introduce new skills for our engineers.

“As a growing business in an ultra-competitive food sector, this grant will allow us to make the most of new opportunities.

“British manufacturing and engineering needs to continue investing in new skills and technology, and this award will help us achieve that.”

Nigel Joice, of Uphouse Farm, said: “The Agri-Tech grant application was straight forward with expert help at every stage, so we were thrilled to hear we had been successful.

“The investment can go ahead immediately and will allow us to update the equipment on the farm to keep us at the fore-front of our sector. The project will give us the opportunity to monitor everything on the farm more closely and provide an even better environment for our chickens – thank you Agri-Tech.”

Mark Reeve, chairman of the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative is helping to drive forward economic growth in our area by funding vital agricultural research, as well as providing on the ground investment into the agricultural and food manufacturing industry. These grants are delivering new jobs and helping our local businesses grow.

“From food and drink producers to specialist equipment manufacturers and poultry farmers; the variety of companies we have supported reflects the diversity and strength of our area’s agricultural sector.

“There is still funding available, and we want to encourage even more businesses to apply to further strengthen our position as the leading area for Agri-Tech in the UK.”