Friday, 18 May 2012
CGS: Candy Makers managing director Robert Whittleston (left) with sales and marketing manager Paul Finney
A sweet manufacturing company which moved to Leeds in February this year with help from Leeds City Council is on course to achieve 800 per cent growth in turnover.
Candy Makers Ltd has already won large contracts to supply wholesale and retail customers with its sugar-free sweets and plans to recruit up to six new employees to meet growing demand for its range of sugar-free sweets, toffees and chews.
The company found its new premises - a 5,000 sq ft unit at Parkside Industrial Estate in Beeston – with help from Leeds City Council’s ‘Locate in Leeds’ team, which assists businesses in Leeds and from outside the area to find new premises.
Candy Makers received a grant of £6,250 through council’s business growth fund to help cover the cost of new machinery and fitting out the new premises. Employment Leeds is now helping the company to recruit new staff.
The firm currently has around 50 different product lines and also manufactures ‘regular’ sweets to order.
Candy Makers sales and marketing director Paul Finney said:
“The business has grown very quickly and the unit we were in previously had limited capacity for expansion.
“The grant from Leeds City Council has been a great help in covering the cost of fitting out the new premises and bringing in new machinery that will give us greater production capacity and the potential to develop ‘own brand’ product lines.”
With sales for 2012 forecast to reach the £1 million mark, the business is now looking for new markets and opportunities for expansion. Exports, which account for about 10 per cent of sales, and own label products have been identified as key areas for future growth.
The company has recently been granted accreditation as a Halaal site through the British Muslim Food Board which means they are able to supply to ethnic food shops and export to Muslim countries.
Candy Makers is now looking to appoint a team of machine operators, packers and trainee sugar boilers with help from Employment Leeds as it gears up for further expansion.
The Locate in Leeds team worked with Candy Makers for months prior to their move, supplying lists of properties and arranging viewings. The grant was provided through the council’s business growth fund, set up to help small and medium sized companies that are investing for growth and creating new jobs.
Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for development and economy said:
“This is an excellent example of how we in the council can work with businesses to attract them to the city and support them when they get here.
“It’s exciting to see a local company doing so well and expanding despite the current economic climate. Thriving businesses mean jobs for local people and supports the local economy so everyone benefits in the long term.”
Note to editors:
Locate in Leeds offers a free service for start ups and businesses in the Leeds area that are looking to relocate, either to consolidate or expand their operations. The team also works with UKTI on inward investment enquiries and with independent location consultants acting on behalf of large corporate occupiers.
Last year, the service handled more than 1400 enquires form companies looking for new premises including over 300 enquiries from businesses outside West Yorkshire. The team also signposts companies to the range of support available through the council and other organisations.
Grants of up to £10,000 are available through Leeds City Council’s business growth fund to support capital investment and job creation. SMEs in a range of sectors can apply for the grants which cover 20 per cent of the cost of an investment in new equipment and premises fit outs, with a maximum of £2,500 payable per job created.
Employment Leeds is a free Leeds City Council service which helps employers seeking to recruit new staff. It has assisted Candy Makers in drafting recruitment adverts for food and machine operatives, targeting the local labour market through job shops and job clubs and with initial screening of CVs.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Posted by Leeds City Council press office at 09:18