Four businesses are on the move to Northamptonshire thanks to an innovative inward investment marketing campaign that incentivises businesses to relocate to the county with the offer of a LOCATE grant of up to £20,000 funded by Northamptonshire County Council (NCC).
Record-breaking electric car company Bluebird Performance Engineering, GCRS Ltd. which recycles fibreglass and gluten free bakery, Incredible Bakery Company have or are now planning to relocate to Northamptonshire. They will be joined by online retailer, Uber Shop, with one other company move also in the pipeline.
Love Northamptonshire tells the county’s inward investment story; bringing to the fore messages of first class business support and incentives such as the Locate fund combined with unrivalled access to UK and European markets.
The campaign, which was launched a year ago in July 2013, has received significant backing from NCC, the University of Northampton, Northampton Borough Council and a host of local big brands including Carlsberg UK, Weetabix, Avon, Barclaycard and British Gas.
Pitching for greater visibility
Partnership with the county’s home grown big brands is a fundamental principle of Love Northamptonshire – put simply, their backing instils confidence in Northamptonshire as a location for investment.
A new partnership formed with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club (NCCC) this summer is an exciting one for the county. Crowds are at an all-time high, as is the associated opportunity to gain high profile coverage for the county both locally and via Sky as a result.
David Smith, Chief Executive of Northants Cricket said: “We are delighted to develop a commercial relationship with the Love Northamptonshire campaign. This partnership brings the exciting prospect of a joint focus of raising the profile of our county to a broader audience. This is a major part of our community based strategy that sees us working more closely with strong and iconic local brands to achieve our aims.”
The businesses currently relocating are all doing so thanks to LOCATE funding. Funded by NCC and managed by NEP, LOCATE offers grants of up to £20,000 encouraging companies to find a new base or expand into Northamptonshire. As well as these LOCATE beneficiaries, there have been over 200 serious inward investment enquiries from other UK and international businesses considering a move to the county.
County council Leader, Cllr Jim Harker, said: “This has been a tremendously successful initiative and this emphasises that Northamptonshire has a great deal to offer businesses from a variety of sectors.
“We believe that the county council can play a significant role in using a relatively small amount of public money to attract substantial inward investment.”
The Love Northamptonshire campaign, with the majority of the creative designed by a local freelancer, Clare Algate Design, includes website, billboard and online advertising and encourages businesses elsewhere in the UK and overseas to consider moving to Northamptonshire. It champions the county’s strong enterprise credentials, collaborative approach to business support, leading recovery from recession and unique accessibility, persuading companies of the opportunities that exist for development and growth in Northamptonshire.
The London campaigns specifically targeted London based businesses with posters at London Underground and main line stations, walking billboards known as Look Walkers at Kings Cross, St. Pancras International and London Euston stations and website and online advertising.
Delivering tangible results
Kate Dent, Head of Marketing & Communications at NEP, said: “It’s always rewarding when a campaign delivers tangible results, even more so on this occasion when we can welcome four new companies to the county. Tying a marketing campaign in with LOCATE funding meant we could send a clear message to businesses – bring your business to Northamptonshire and we will back you.
“It has also been exciting to see the level of buy in from other companies and partners based in Northamptonshire. We work collaboratively with organisations such as the University of Northampton and big employers like Carlsberg UK who are all major stakeholders and supporters of the local business community.
“Equally, it’s good to see many other local companies and organisations join in support of Love Northamptonshire including Jackson Grundy, British Pepper & Spice, Farrington Oils and Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce.”
Northamptonshire has a strong track record of attracting inward investment and was recently listed as one of the 10 best small regions in Europe for foreign direct investment strategy by the Financial Times.
New companies moving to Northamptonshire
Bluebird has an increasing focus on electric vehicles – it is aiming to break the electric land speed record in 2015 and is working on a limited edition electric sports car. Thanks to LOCATE the company will move to Rockingham in Corby where it will have access to unrivalled test facilities. Corby is renowned for its emphasis on electric vehicles with a strong local supply chain and a hub of motorsport and performance engineering companies.
Martin Rees, CEO, Bluebird Performance Engineering, said: “The technology, expertise and mind-set now exist to allow electric vehicles to compete credibly with traditional engines, whether breaking speed records or on the daily commute. Moving to Rockingham means we’ll have the right foundations in place to continue to push forward our development of cutting edge electric cars.”
Incredible Bakery Company moved to Northamptonshire from South-East London after seeing Love Northamptonshire advertising on the tube. The business was finding property prices in the capital too expensive especially since it needs to work from gluten and dairy free kitchens so cannot share facilities with others.
General Composites Recycling Solutions recycles fiberglass, manufacturing products for industries including construction and aerospace. The company, the UK division of US based Global Fiberglass Solutions, is moving to Corby and expects to employ over 250 people by 2017.
Online eco-friendly parenting shop Uber Shop is relocating to Northampton from Pulloxhill in Bedfordshire. The move will allow the company to expand and create six new jobs in the next three years.
The next round of LOCATE funding will be launched in September. For more information, visit: www.northamptonshireep.co.uk
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