Adrian Dawson and Mark Mitchell

A South West glass and glazing manufacturing firm is preparing to create 40 new jobs and move into bigger premises at Langage Business Park, Plymouth after securing a £250,000 grant from the GAIN Growth Fund. Westcountry Glass, one of the Cornwall Glass & Glazing Group’s 14 branches across the South West, is using the grant to invest in state-of-the-art equipment that will make the business more competitive and pave the way for the next decade of growth.

The grant is one of 32 awards totalling £3 million, which have been made from the GAIN Growth Fund to South West businesses eager to expand. A key part of the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City deal, the Growth Fund aims to support companies with growth aspirations to expand more quickly, and the grants are scheduled to create 482 jobs and unlock over £14 million in private investment. 

Founded 37 years ago by David and Heather Mitchell in Truro, Cornwall Glass & Glazing Group retail, install and manufacture an extensive range of glass and glazing products from bespoke stained glass panels, fire resistant glazing and double and triple glazed sealed units along with producing their own toughened safety glass on three specialist furnaces. Still a business with the family values running through its heart, the company now employs more than 200 people over 15 sites throughout Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire.

Through the GAIN Growth Fund, Cornwall Glass & Glazing is investing in new equipment so it can manufacture the largest panes of toughened safety glass in the region. As well as giving more South West companies the opportunity to buy locally, this will open up opportunities for the firm to win business in other parts of the UK.

The Cornwall Glass & Glazing Group is planning to move its Westcountry Glass branch, currently located in Saltash, to Langage Science Park by the end of the year. With its expanded offer, the firm is also aiming to create in excess of 40 new jobs over the next two years.

Mark Mitchell, Managing Director of Cornwall Glass & Glazing Group, said: 

'Although our company has grown at an impressive rate over the last 37 years, we have become restricted in some of the larger commercial work we can pitch for because of production related limitations and factory space. With the new equipment, purchased in part with the assistance of the GAIN Growth Fund, we are proud to be able to offer a much more extensive range of products to our existing customers in the South West, as well as being able to reach out to new businesses further afield. This investment will future-proof the business for the next decade.'
'Being awarded the grant has given us a real boost and allowed us to bring forward certain investment and purchases that otherwise would have not been possible. This is by far, the largest investment our family business has made in its 37 year history and we are very excited to be making this happen in the very vibrant city of Plymouth where we already employ over 35 skilled and loyal colleagues.'

Adrian Dawson, Head of GAIN Projects and Partnerships, said: 

'We are delighted that the GAIN Growth Fund is enabling Cornwall Glass & Glazing Group to invest in new equipment, which will make the firm more competitive. With more than 40 new jobs in the pipeline, this is great news for the region. The firm identified a major barrier to its growth and is overcoming this through GAIN.'

The Growth Fund is supported by GAIN, the Growth, Acceleration and Investment Network, as part of its focus on accelerating job creation and boosting economic growth in high quality businesses in the South West. Funding was agreed through the Regional Growth Fund as part of the City Deal.

The GAIN Growth Fund grants will be supplemented by private investment totalling over £14 million from the individual businesses to achieve their growth plans.

The GAIN Growth Fund follows the previous, highly successful Plymouth University and Western Morning News Growth Fund (PWGF) which made more than 60 grants totalling £4.7 million to South West companies in 2012/2013, supporting the creation of more than 500 new jobs and unlocking investment of over £9 million.

The GAIN Growth Fund is managed by a team from Plymouth University on behalf of Plymouth City Council, which led the successful bid for the City deal agreed in January 2014.

The Plymouth and South West Peninsula City deal is focused on increasing productivity and growth in the South West Peninsula and could see almost £300 million of investment into the region’s marine and advanced manufacturing sectors, creating over 9,000 jobs. The City deal includes a substantial business support package with some £24 million of private and public sector money to help existing businesses flourish here as well as attract new investors.