A £150,000 investment from the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) Convergence Programme is to help a Cornish traditional yacht building company meet ambitious plans for expansion.
The money will form part of a £703,000 boost for Cornish Crabbers, with the bulk of the investment coming from the company. It will be used to buy premises at Rock and equipment, including photovoltaic cells to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. This investment will safeguard existing jobs and help to grow employment to 32 by 2013.
At the beginning of the year Cornish Crabbers was established by businessman and now chairman Philip Langsdale with assets purchased from the liquidator of the former company Select Yachts. Mr Langsdale, Chief Information Officer of BAA (the airport operator) was an owner of a Cornish Crabber and wanted to keep the brand alive.
Mr Langsdale said: “We were exhibiting at the London Boat Show the very next day and have since sold over 20 boats. We have a healthy order book and more than 20 employees – many of whom had been made redundant last October. We are very excited about what has been going on and this Convergence investment has given us the financial confidence to grow the business further.”
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office, said: “This ERDF Convergence investment will support a company which is aiming to build on a known and trusted brand and increase its workforce. This underpins the aim of the Convergence programmes to strengthen our economy and create jobs.”
The ERDF Convergence investment is the first to be approved under the Grant for Business Investment (GBI) Programme. The GBI ERDF Convergence investment supports the start-up, expansion, modernisation and diversification of businesses – typically through supporting the acquisition of key assets such as buildings, plant and machinery – thereby creating jobs, raising business productivity and raising skills levels.
The South West RDA (Regional Development Agency) administers the GBI scheme.
Stephen Bohane, the RDA’s Head of Business Development in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “Cornwall’s world leading marine industries are a key part of the regional economy and we are very pleased that this first GBI grant is supporting the growth plans of Cornish Crabbers and gives them the confidence to invest in the future of their business. By investing in skilled jobs we aim to put the region and its businesses in the best possible position to benefit from the economic recovery when it comes and to encourage long term sustainable growth.”
Cornish Crabbers has been trading for more than 30 years and all boats are made to order at its Rock premises.