The new-look test laboratory at ActOn Finishing

A leading engineering firm in Coventry has had a five-figure makeover as part of a new era of growth.

ActOn Finishing in Torrington Avenue, which is the UK’s leading surface finishing technology provider in the healthcare, aerospace, automotive and motorsport sectors, has transformed its test laboratory after receiving support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub.

ActOn Finishing was referred to Coventry City Council, to the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme, and applied for a grant of £7,500 towards modernising the laboratory which is used to demonstrate products to new and existing clients.

The Growth Hub also helped ActOn Finishing apply for £9,000 from the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme, which is also being delivered by Coventry City Council, to replace halogen bulbs throughout its premises with LED lighting.

The support provided, together with the grants, are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The grant funding has resulted in the conversion of all lighting throughout the site to LED lighting to improve the visual aspects within many of their production processes,
leading to around 32tonnes of Co2 emission savings per year and reduced energy costs.

ActOn Finishing has also given a helping hand to the Bilton Coronavirus Support Group in Rugby by donating 50 face masks to help its volunteers deliver shopping and medicine to members of the local community.

Sid Gulati, operations director at ActOn Finishing, said the investment by the company and grants had helped to modernise their premises.

He said: “We have been developing new automatic machines to reduce manual handling and we will now be able to showcase these – very mindful of social distancing rules – in our test laboratory which was work long overdue.

“We use this area to demonstrate and develop new processes which is key to winning new business.

“The grant has also meant we have been able to improve our sales office by installing a new floor, painting the walls and adding new branding which better reflects our standing within a specialised industry.

“We have also been conscious of our carbon footprint and have replaced hundreds and hundreds of halogen bulbs with LED lighting throughout our site.

“The Growth Hub has been extremely supportive and pointed us in the right direction to apply for grants which we hadn’t realised we would qualify for.”

ActOn Finishing has also been giving back to the community by donating 50 face masks for free to the Bilton Coronavirus Support Group which works closely with Rugby Borough Council, Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Vision to help self-isolating residents with grocery collections and prescriptions.

Sid said: “Warwickshire County Council recommended us to the Bilton community group and we were only too happy to help.

“The group is doing fantastic work for its local community to help people at a time when they need it the most.”

Ben Smith, trustee at the Bilton Coronavirus Support Group, said: “During the lockdown we have been reaching out for multiple avenues of support, in particular sourcing PPE for our volunteers. Our funds at this time are minimal but it was important for us to get costings to understand what funding we may need.

“The CWLEP Growth Hub, who we registered with, put us in touch with a few suppliers including ActOn Finishing. Sid Gulati, their Operations Director, was quick to come back and provide a generous offer of 50 KN95 face masks for our volunteers completely free of charge.

“Within a couple of days, I was able to collect them and distribute to our volunteers in the Rugby area which certainly helped to provide that feeling of an extra bit of safety mid-lockdown. We really appreciate ActOn Finishing’s quick offer of generosity to the local community.”

Justine Chadwick, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said ActOn Finishing is growing year-on-year and the developments would assist with their expansion plans.

“The business is among the UK’s experts in surface finish technology and their customers are based throughout the world,” she said.

“The grants, along with the company’s investment, will help to create a more professional image, as well as helping them to reduce their energy bills alongside lowering their carbon footprint. The grant funding is an easy process for businesses to apply for since we help with the application process.

“It is great that they have also donated the face masks to the Bilton Coronavirus Support Group which was recently set-up to provide a much-needed service during Covid-19 in the Rugby area.”

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council, said: “The grants, along with the company’s investment, have helped to create a more professional image, as well as aiding them to reduce their energy bills alongside lowering their carbon footprint.

“The grant funding is an easy process for businesses to apply for as the team help with the full application process, so I would encourage local organisations to apply for the grant funded programmes that are being provided by the Council.”