Major Ledbury business, Galebreaker Group Ltd, has received a £78,280 windfall from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Based on New Mills Industrial Estate, Galebreaker undertakes research, design and manufacture of fabric based ventilation systems, weather protection “and performance enhancing products for the agricultural and industrial sectors”.

The grant, from the Marches Building Investment Grant Scheme pot, will help the business to provide better facilities for new and existing customers and staff and improve efficiency, “and thus assist with their three year expansion plan to double turnover in Europe and to increase turnover in North America”.

Welcoming the news, Jeremy Scudamore, Director of Galebreaker, said: “The Marches Building Investment grant funding has kick-started our growth investment for our expansion in our export markets. Undoubtedly it has accelerated our plans to facilitate a new training academy, better staff facilities and a purpose built goods out building.”

The first improvement project involves reconfiguring the space within the existing building “to provide additional office space, a training area and new welfare facilities”.

The second project will improve manufacturing efficiency and productivity through improved logistics handling of export goods. Thanks to the funding, Galebreaker are in the process of adding an extension to the building which will create a dedicated area “to allow 4 lorry loads of finished goods to be accumulated and quality controlled prior to shipment”.

The growth has enabled the creation of five new jobs, raising the workforce to around 40 people.

Cllr Trish Marsh, Cabinet Member for Environment, Economy and Skills, added: “We would encourage local businesses to contact us to discuss how ERDF funding can help their business.”