Wednesday, May 4, 2016

News: Rotherham-based AME Group set for expansion thanks to £20,000 business loan

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A prototype manufacturer based in Rotherham that develops and tests products including kitchen gadgets and paintbrushes is growing its design team following a funding boost from Finance Yorkshire.

The innovative Dinnington company combines a team of creative designers and technical designers who work on new products and create high-specification prototypes using 3D printing technology for customers including Dyson, GlaxoSmithKline, Hornby, Morphy Richards and Unilever.

Former coal miner Ian Jones established the company in 1996 and it now 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.

AME has recently secured a £20,000 business loan from Finance Yorkshire to enable the group to expand its team and improve marketing. The company put to use a £30,000 business loan from the regional funding body in 2013.

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Ian Jones, managing director of AME Group, 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."

Melanie Reynolds, portfolio assistant at Finance Yorkshire, added: "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."

AME Group has worked closely with leading consumer product company, Proctor and Gamble, and has worked on more than 100 of its brands from designing the packaging of Pringles Crisps to developing the lid dispenser on Ariel detergent.

It has also developed children's toys, for example Scalextric cars and Hornby trains, as well as medical equipment and electronic beauty products.

Finance Yorkshire has invested over £105m into companies in Yorkshire and Humber having secured extra support from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). Originally a £90m fund, it operated three investment teams - Seedcorn Finance, Business Loans and Equity Linked Investments. It secured £45m from the European Investment Bank, together with £30m investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £15m from the Government via Yorkshire Forward.

AME Group website
Finance Yorkshire website

Images: Finance Yorkshire

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