Family-run manufacturers Aquaseal Rubber say it has increased turnover by more than £100,000 since securing an Investment for Growth grant in March this year.
The Longbenton-based makers of industrial-strength rubber and polymers has also created two jobs following the undisclosed grant earlier this year.
Aquaseal has had a successful year in which it recently secured a significant contract to supply products for use in the new Humber Gateway offshore wind farm.
Earlier in the year the firm was contracted to supply rubber linings for steel guides used in the manufacture of oil platforms by OGN.
In December last year, the team took the decision to refresh its website with the aim of improving the company’s web presence and in turn attract new customers.
Jason Armstrong, managing director of Aquaseal Rubber, said: “This time last year we were short on cash flow and just ticking along really – not exactly growing. We appointed a web development company to help us refresh our website and they told us about the funding available from Investment for Growth.
“The grant has allowed us to make our web presence much better, giving us a more professional look and feel to the company, better communicating what Aquaseal is all about. We can confidently show our new and existing customers who we are, what we can do and how we can help them and their business.”
Mr Armstrong and his team made the application to Investment to Growth in December 2013, and by March this year, Aquaseal’s application had been approved, with funds being made available only three weeks later.
Since the launch of the new website, Aquaseal has seen its order books fill up, particularly thanks to interest from offshore energy sector. Turnover has increased by more than £100,000 and profitability doubled, securing jobs.
Mr Armstrong added: “Thanks to the help from Investment for Growth the results of this project are way beyond what we ever expected – we’re delighted. I would not hesitate to recommend my advisor to other business owners; in fact, I’ve passed his contact information on to two companies in the local area already.”
Colin Bunn, business adviser at Investment for Growth, added: “Jason and the team at Aquaseal Rubber are a great example of how the use of an up-to-date website and digital marketing plan can fundamentally change the prospects of a company.
“Aquaseal Rubber is now reaching a much wider audience and this is translating itself into new orders and improved profitability. Jason is confident that his business is now better placed to take every advantage of the upturn in the regional economy and will continue to grow – I wish him and his team the very best of luck.”
Investment for Growth recently announced it is extending its business investment project to the end of 2014, thanks to an investment of approximately £1m from the European Regional Development fund, and is now calling for more small to medium-sized enterprises – like Aquaseal Rubber – to take advantage of the opportunity before it is too late.