Derby based business; The Sweetener Company, is set to create 4 new full-time jobs with support from the Derby and Derbyshire Enterprise Growth Fund (D2EGF).

The firm applied for a grant of £24,000 from the fund which is a partnership between Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council to help small businesses in Derby and Derbyshire expand and create high quality, long-term jobs

The cash will help the firm buy technology to develop new products to meet emerging market demand. The grant has paid for the final part of a ‘PET jar’ production line which required a total investment of £750k.

The Sweetener Company is the largest sweetener tablet producer in the UK and has been manufacturing well-known household brands for over 10 years. Rapid expansion over the past five years has seen sales growth reach 40% with a staggering 3.5 million tablets being produced per hour.

Whilst tablet sweeteners remain popular, demand for granulated sweeteners meant that the company had to consider major investment in production processes to meet customer demand for both formats.

To be cost effective in manufacturing the powdered form of their product, the company decided to build a production line that would create the jar itself with sophisticated blow moulding equipment then fill, seal and cap the jar.

The final process is for the all-over shrink sleeve is to be applied to the jar using shrink sleeve application and steam shrink tunnel equipment.  This high quality finish gives a top quality product ready for supermarket shelves.

Based on a single 8 hour shift, the new production line is capable of producing 5 million jars per annum.  As well as creating new jobs, being able to produce both sweetener formats, (tablets and granulated), has also secured the jobs of the existing 40 strong workforce.

Managing Director Bob Seaborne explains:

Supermarkets who order our products like to keep their supply chains as simple as possible. This means that they want to purchase granulated sweetener from the same supplier as the sweetener tablets.

Our ability to do business with them would have been at risk if we hadn’t been able to meet their needs by providing both products. The D2EGF funding literally allowed us to purchase the final machine to complete the production line which will help to secure our future.”

An ambitious 5-year plan based on increasing the number of shifts will dramatically increase production capacity.

The D2 Enterprise Growth Fund is funded by Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, the European Regional Development Fund and the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. It follows the achievements of the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund in and around the city; the fund has recently been successful in bidding for additional funding to make the scheme countywide.

The funding has been awarded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and will enable DEGF to support a greater number of businesses wishing to invest in innovation and growth and job creation. The fund will now have two streams, DEGF and D2EGF.

Derbyshire County Council’s Strategic Director for Economy, Transport and Communities Mike Ashworth said:

Small businesses are an important part of the Derbyshire economy and we know they’re operating in uncertain times. That’s why it’s important that we continue to support them as much as possible and we welcome this opportunity to help them grow and create jobs.”

Derby City Council’s Enterprise Growth Fund Officer, Maria Marsden has been assisting businesses with DEGF applications for over two years and understands what makes a successful bid into the fund. Maria says:

The Sweetener Company’s successful grant application was based on their potential for sustainable growth and job creation. Impact of the new investment is already being seen in the sales forecast with confirmed orders in place from a leading house-hold brand.”

To find out more you can visit the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund webpage.