New Anglia LEP, helping businesses to combat COVID-19

New Anglia LEP has been at the forefront of the region’s efforts to combat the economic effect of COVID-19, and a diverse range of sectors are benefiting from the £10m package of measures available to support businesses.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine Spring 2021

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership: Respond Restart Renew

The Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Recovery Restart Plan complements plans being developed at county and district levels and feeds into the Government’s national recovery plan. Measures which underpin the plan of action include advice and finance for businesses which are delivered through a new alliance of local authorities, New Anglia Growth Hub, business representative organisations and trade bodies.

Here are some stories on the businesses that have benefited from New Anglia LEP’s funding and support.

Pumpset Company Powers On

When Covid-19 struck, a Suffolk pumpset manufacturer had £350,000 worth of orders cancelled and was left with £200,000 worth of components.

But with the support of a Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme grant from New Anglia LEP, DXB Pump & Power was able not only to manage the challenge, but diversify and start a new contract. It is now forecasting a major increase in turnover.

MD of DXB Pump & Power, Simon Ruffles, said the grant had come at a challenging time and helped turn a potentially disastrous situation around for the company.

“The grant really helped a lot. I had been speaking to the New Anglia Growth Hub saying we needed some assistance and he said there was funding if we could diversify our business from just selling new pumpsets. The answer came when the Environment Agency asked if we would dismantle, refurbish and recycle seven of its largest pumpsets which had been due for replacement. That resulted in close to £700,000 worth of new business.”

DXB Pump has ambitious plans for growth. Major capital infrastructure projects will create demand for its products, and the environmental sensitivity of its equipment gives it an edge over competitors.

New Anglia LEP, helping businesses to combat COVID-19 1

Sunset Trips to be Offered by River Restaurant

A well-known river cruise restaurant will be offering sunset dinner trips through picturesque Suffolk after being awarded funding.

The Lady Florence, a 50ft-long wooden National Historic ship, has for over 30 years been a popular sight, gently winding its way along the Ore and Alde in east Suffolk.

COVID-19 forced River Cruise Restaurants out of operation for most of 2020, devastating its peak season, but the vessel is now hoping to expand its dining offer into the late evening after receiving a grant of just over £2,500 from the LEP’s Visitor Economy Grant scheme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Diners on the Lady Florence set out from Orford Quay and take in the entire 10-mile length of the Orford Ness conservation area. The Allen Gardiner, its second river cruise restaurant, leaves from Ipswich and offers dining all year round with a cosy coal fire in the winter months.

New marine radar and chart-plotting equipment purchased with the funding will now enable the Lady Florence to sail late into the evening and extend its season.

Kris Ambury, who runs the business with his partner said: “The grant is massive for us as in the summer months we can now offer an additional 60 trips; offering us real hope.”


Agency is Ripe for Success

Demand for video content is soaring during the pandemic and Suffolk design agency, Cheddar Creative, can now take advantage after being awarded a grant for a new computer.

The company was producing video content for its clients, but the rendering process was slow and even a two-minute clip took 48 hours to complete on a laptop. Now, the Mac purchased with the £3,000 grant awarded can do the same job in an hour.

“It’s really good news,” said Rich Wood, co-founder at Cheddar. “We had applied for the discretionary grant because we were not on the business rates register and we didn’t get any other grant support. We were thinking that maybe we were going to slip through the net, but the grant came through really quickly.”

New Anglia LEP, helping businesses to combat COVID-19 7

Beer to Be Turned into Gin and Whiskey

Instead of having to pour away unsold beer, a Suffolk brewery will be distilling it into gin and whiskey as it diversifies in response to COVID-19.

Natural water drawn from a nearby ancient meadow will be used by Nethergate Brewery to help produce its new lines of spirits and its own brand of mineral water. It was awarded a Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme grant of just under £50,000 to help pay for the purchase and commission of a still and other distillery equipment, and the design and branding of its gin products.

MD, John Holberry said: “We need to be more of a take-home oriented business. We will need pubs, but we have an online shop and an actual shop, and by creating gin, whiskey and rum, we hope we will be less dependent on pub sales. The grant has been enormously helpful for us.”

Although COVID has had an adverse impact on the business, it has enabled Nethergate to bring forward plans to diversify its products and grow the capacity of its visitor centre to increase direct sales as part of the tour experience.

To find out more about how grants are supporting businesses visit New Anglia LEP.
The New Anglia Growth Hub provides free, impartial business support to businesses across Norfolk and Suffolk.
For more info T: 0300 333 6536
or E:
or visit

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