UKSE's Steve Lyon with Christopher Thomson

CRT Media launches news studio with UKSE grant 

A Rotherham photographer whose business was ‘heavily impacted’ by the pandemic says he is now on track to expand and recruit after a Kickstart grant from UKSE allowed him to establish a dedicated studio space and take on new clients in the manufacturing industry.

Christopher Thompson had been a keen nature and wildlife photographer for many years when he decided to turn his hobby into a profession with the launch of CRT Media in early 2020.

Working on behalf of businesses operating in the hospitality industry the business got off to a good start but came into difficulties due to the closure of nightclubs, bars and restaurants last March, as well as the cancellation of weddings and concerts as a result of the pandemic.

Chris was forced to consider both where he worked and who he worked for in order to keep his business afloat.

He went on to apply for a Kickstart grant from UKSE which he used to convert his back bedroom into a fully functioning studio – purchasing vital equipment including a custom PC built for photo editing.

In the months that followed he also managed to secure a tool manufacturing client in Mansfield to deliver extensive catalogue work.
CRT media now boasts a wide client range spanning a number of sectors including manufacturing, leisure and tourism, and Chris says he is on track to recruit in the coming months in order to keep up with growing demand.
Commenting on the successful venture, Chris said: “The last year has been incredibly tough for many businesses, and especially those that relied so heavily on clients operating in the hospitality and leisure arena.

“However, the past 18 months have also presented many opportunities, and I am delighted to have established a much more diverse customer base.

“Thanks to the funding from UKSE I have also been able to set up my at-home studio which really was the backbone to growing my business.

“In the coming months I am very much looking forward to growing the business and to furthering my client base, and to expanding the team with an administrative assistant to help keep up with the demand. My aim is to have repeat customers who are happy with the service I provide.”

Steve Lyon, Regional Executive at UKSE added: “Growing a business from a hobby is a rewarding challenge at any time, but especially with the hardships and restrictions bought about as a result of Covid-19.

“It is absolutely fantastic to see Chris’ determination pay off, and that his business is now on an upward trajectory of growth. I wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”
UKSE also provides loan and equity finance of up to £1m to existing companies which are growing, particularly those creating jobs – for further information please contact the team on 0800 915 1188.