Prototype engineer invests in design prowess
A prototype manufacturer that develops and tests products including kitchen gadgets and paintbrushes is growing its design team following a funding boost from Finance Yorkshire.
Sheffield-based AME Group, established by engineer Ian Jones in 1997, designs products and creates high-specification prototypes using 3D printing technology for customers including Dyson, GlaxoSmithKline, Hornby, Morphy Richards and Unilever.
The £20,000 Business Loan from Finance Yorkshire will enable AME Group to expand its team and improve marketing.
To date, Finance Yorkshire has invested over £105 million in Yorkshire and Humber, enabling companies to increase their turnover by £377 million and attract a further £273 million from other private sector sources. Finance Yorkshire investment has helped those SMEs to create and safeguard more than 12,000 jobs in the region.
AME Group employs 22 people and has a turnover of £1.5m. Its growth has been fed by demand for the rapid production of prototypes and replica models that can be exhibited at shows and tested before they enter mass production.
Ian said: “We have developed a niche as an engineering company that offers a fast turnaround and high quality. This has enabled us to build a strong base of long-term customers.
“As the economy has picked up, our design revenues have grown so we have hired two people into that team. While technology continues to evolve, design skills remain crucial to the process. Our strategy is for our design revenues to catch up with those of our prototyping division.”
Finance Yorkshire’s Melanie Reynolds said: “AME Group has carved out a reputation for speed, quality and value for money which means it is trusted by an impressive portfolio of brands. The loan will help AME to enhance its already impressive design offering.”
Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.
The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, UK Government and the European Investment Bank. Finance Yorkshire is also supported by the Regional Growth Fund.
For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com or call 0300 030 6060.
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