The D2 Enterprise Growth Fund (D2EGF) has helped Derbyshire company Paper Escape to expand and create 12 new local jobs.

Businesses with similar potential to grow currently without a full funding package can apply to D2EGF for a grant or loan to support their plans.

The Fund, managed in partnership by Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council, has enabled document management company, Paper Escape, to make an essential move to purpose built new premises. A grant of £146,979k secured the future of nine existing jobs and created the conditions for a further 12 FTE posts.

Paper Escape was founded in 2007 and provides electronic document storage solutions as well as document storage and secure shredding services. The company soon outgrew its home based office and in 2012 moved to an older warehouse in Chinley, Derbyshire. Within just a few years, demand for the service exceeded expectations. It soon became apparent that a further move would be necessary to allow the company to manage existing customer demands and take advantage of opportunities to grow.

Finding appropriate premises nearby proved impossible. Company directors were faced with a choice to either move out of the area, putting nine jobs at risk, or to find an available plot on which to build a modern industrial unit. Building land in the right location also proved difficult to find until a local farmer and retired local business owner was sympathetic and offered director Adrian Hill a plot of land suitable for such a building. Adrian needed to move fast to secure the opportunity together with the future of the company and its workforce.

Adrian said that:

The grant from D2EGF was critical in enabling us to move forward with our plans for Paper Escape. Our existing premises were holding the company back. Without quality office space and sufficient storage we were limited in the level of service we could offer existing customers and restricted in what new business we could acquire. Thanks to the purpose built facilities we are now expanding and diversifying, improving our service to current customers whilst taking on larger projects that would have been impossible in our previous base. We were lucky to have help from many people throughout the project but quite simply it was the grant funding that made this a reality.

With the support provided by D2EGF Paper Escape has already created five new jobs, well ahead of their target to create 12 jobs in three years.

The D2 Enterprise Growth Fund is funded by Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, the European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Growth Fund. The Derby Enterprise Growth Fund has many achievements in and around the city; a recent bid for more funding to make the scheme countrywide has also been successful. The funding, awarded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will enable DEGF to support a greater number of businesses wishing to invest in innovation, growth and job creation. The fund will now have two streams: DEGF and D2EGF.

Councillor Tony King, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said:

Small businesses are a significant part of the Derbyshire economy so it’s important that we continue to support them as much as possible. We welcome this opportunity to help a local company grow and create jobs.

Derby City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the Economy, Councillor Martin Rawson, commented that:

Many businesses have the potential to grow and develop but don’t always have the cash flow available when they need it. Paper Escape is an excellent example of how funding made available at the right time can benefit an SME. On behalf of Derby City Council, I am delighted to see the Fund helping to stimulate growth and create jobs locally.

To find out more visit the Derby City Council website.