Hidden gem in Sparkhill

By on 08/04/2013 in Blog, Cllr Ali
Cllr Tahir Ali

Cllr Tahir Ali

Last week I had the great pleasure to visit Indestructible Paints, a hidden gem in the heart of Sparkhill. 

As inventors and manufacturers of specialist 'indestructible' paint for planes, helicopters, racing cars and anything else that needs paint capable of withstanding extremes of heat or jet vibrations and the like, Indestructible Paints is just that.

Aside from my curiosity about a company with such a great sounding name, I wanted to find out how they were using the grant we'd given them on behalf of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative and how it was helping their business expand.

The family business started in 1978 with one man, now employs 36 members of staff, averages 11 per cent growth (even in these hard times) and exports to 49 countries.  They are ready to grow and expand in a growing and expanding market.  The problem they face, like so many companies at this stage of growth, is cash flow.  They need to ensure that the company grows at the same rate as its supply commitments.  They need to ensure that they have the right amount of people in the company at the right time.  Cash flow makes and breaks companies.

So a grant that contributes 20 per cent of the money needed for their five year business plan is really useful.  The company is confident that it will be able to recruit another 20 members of staff.  That's 20 skilled jobs in advanced manufacturing, and as they're part of a supply chain, their growth will have a massive impact on other industries in the same manufacturing supply chain.  They make the paint, applicators apply the paint to components, component manufacturers supply to civil aircraft or racing car manufacturers and so on – a chain reaction if you like.

What's great is that this all started with a bid to the government from Birmingham and other local enterprise partnerships for some money to help grow the automotive and aerospace sectors back in 2011.  Between us we were awarded £25 million.  Within a couple of months the government decided to increase that allocation to £125 million and widened the sectors covered to include advanced manufacturing, such as automotive aerospace, rail, renewable energy, chemicals and nuclear and to make it a national programme for England.  Our involvement didn't stop there.  This month we accepted a further allocation of £120 million, with £19 million specifically ear marked for the West Midlands.

I am incredibly proud that our team at Birmingham City Council has shown that they have the experience and skills to administer and manage this funding.  A grant of just over £280k to Indestructible Paints is making a massive difference.  Let's hope the £19 million programme for the West Midlands will give a real boost to the local and regional economy, creating lots of new, highly skilled jobs. 
See Birmingham Post 04/04/2013

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