Business and Economy

VideoBusiness Promotion Grant awarded to a record number of companies

Business Promotion Grant recipients 2019Business Promotion Grant recipients 2019

Posted on: 12 July 2019

A record number of Devon companies have received funding from the latest Business Promotion Grants awarded by Devon County Council.

It’s the fifth time the County Council has awarded the Business Promotion Grant – handing out funding to 16 Devon companies on this occasion – to help them gain valuable exposure at trade shows and exhibitions across the country.

The initiative helps local firms to cover exhibiting costs at high profile trade shows or events – with the aim of promoting their goods and services to new audiences to help the development of their business and support Devon’s growing economy. Grants of up to £1,500 were available through a competitive bidding process.

The Business Promotion Grant is part of the County Council’s Devon Delivers programme, which highlights Devon as a great place to live and work.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert

Cllr Rufus Gilbert

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “This is the fifth occasion that we’ve offered the Business Promotion Grants, and I’m delighted that we’re able to provide a record number of grants this time round. We always receive plenty of applications for this funding and we’re proud to be helping some outstanding local businesses to promote their goods and services at high profile events. It’s good news for the development of these Devon companies which, in turn, is good news for Devon’s economy.”

This year’s Business Promotion Grant has been awarded to:

Bloomin’ Sexy, from Newton Abbot, who make unique “anti-chafe” underwear. The company will attend the Curve Fashion Festival in Liverpool in November.

Carol Westwood, Co-Director of Bloomin’ Sexy, said: “The Curve Fashion Festival is the only UK event that specialises in plus size clothing and garments. Our range of garments go from a size 12 to a size 30 because it’s very much our thought that women of all shapes and sizes can and should be able to feel comfortable, but also to feel that they’ve got something sexy that they’re wearing at the same time. Without the grant we wouldn’t be able to do it, so it’s the difference, for us, between the company being able to go places and becoming a known brand or not.”

Cineon Training, based in Clyst Honiton, will be at the MPEC Conference in Bristol (organised by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine) in September. The firm uses virtual reality simulation for performance training in a number of areas, including high risk industries.

Toby de Burgh, Director of Cineon Training, said: “Virtual reality is something that people really need to experience in order to be able to see and understand it and what we do. This funding from Devon County Council will enable us to demonstrate some of our latest work to potential clients and let them try it out for themselves.
“We are also working on new simulations related to MRI scanning and radiation protection, and this funding will enable us to share these tools at this medical conference and promote them in front of medical professionals.
“We also see this as a great opportunity to show what Devon can offer. Through our work, and links with the University of Exeter, we demonstrate that Devon is home to creativity, technological innovation, and first-class academic research, to name a few.”

Hand poured, luxury scented candle makers Cornucopia Emporium, from South Molton, will be at the UK Black Business Show in London in October.

Natasha Vigille, Owner of Cornucopia Emporium, said: “It’s the first trade show I’ve done so it’s going to be a huge learning curve for me but I’m very excited and looking forward to it. I don’t think I would have been able to attend without the help of the grant. We’ll be promoting Devon as a good place for business. It’s going to be good for brand awareness and basically trying to position Cornucopia Emporium as a leader in the handmade candle industry.”

Tavistock based Dizzy and Creative, which designs and produces a range of embroidery kits and books, will attend the Knitting and Stitching Show in London in October.

Jay Hooper, of Dizzy and Creative, said: “We’re proud of our Devon base, and that we can achieve so much support for our business from local industry. It’s heartening and encouraging for a small and growing business, that our local authority also recognises that together, we can grow in strength and stature. A presence at the Knitting and Stitching Show will enable us to showcase our work alongside the most prestigious world-renowned organisations, such as the Royal School of Needlework and the Embroiderers’ Guild.”

Heritage Cob and Lime, from Bideford, manufactures and supplies premium lime mortar and associated products. The company will be at the first Listed Property Show South West in Bristol in September.

Sarah Rawle, Co-Director of Heritage Cob and Lime, said: “It’s our first show and the first Listed Property Show South West, and to be awarded a grant gives you confidence to go and make the most of it. Attending this show is a huge benchmark in the growth of the company.”

Based in Ivybridge, Life Space Cabins will be showcasing new cabin designs specifically designed for the glamping and commercial market and launching them at the Farm Business Innovation Show at the NEC, Birmingham, in November.

Founder and Director of Life Space Cabins Jamie Wilson said: “We are delighted to be representing Devon at the Farm Business Innovation Show at the NEC this year. We are passionate about where we live and work but also how we can work with those wishing to diversify and create glamping or commercial spaces that will complement their own landscapes. We will, of course, be encouraging them of the benefits of running a business in Devon!”

Exeter based Neu Oil, which produces 100% plant based and ethically sourced therapeutic oils for massage and aromatherapy, will be at the Top Drawer Festival in London in September.

Mary Bowen, of Neu Oil, said: “Receiving the Business Promotion Grant means that we will be able to attend the Top Drawer trade event in London and reach top retailers both nationally and internationally. We are really excited about what this will enable us to achieve in the next year and beyond.”

Otter Vale, from Cullompton, which produces a range of hand-made gluten-free chutneys and preserves, will attend the Speciality and Fine Food Fair in London in September.

Andrea Laxon, from Otter Vale Products, said: “We are particularly delighted to be one of the Devon Delivers Business Promotion Grant recipients for 2019, a special year for us as we are celebrating 40 years of our much-loved Devon Chutney by raising funds for the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and the Westcountry Rivers Trust. This funding will help take us to the Speciality and Fine Food Fair in London in September. Here we hope to further promote our county, the wonderful food and drink produced here, and the benefits that living and working in Devon can bring.”

Digital company Re-flow, based in Exeter, provides a software tool aimed at businesses with staff working out on location. They will be at the Road Expo in Glasgow in November.

Mike Saunders, MD of Re-flow, said: “Our core market is highways and the Road Expo is the flagship event for highways in Scotland. We struggle to get meetings with potential clients this far away from Devon, so going to an event where they will all be is ideal for us. Funding from Devon Delivers means that we can extend our reach beyond where it would have been previously feasible and enables us to keep the momentum of business growth going.”

Sea Arch, in Torquay, which makes a non-alcoholic alternative to gin will attend Casual Dining in London in March.

Buckfastleigh based Solidwool will attend Design Junction in London in September. The company will be displaying its unique, composite material furniture which is similar to fibreglass but made from wool and bio-resin as a sustainable alternative.

South West Metal Finishing, based in Exeter, will attend Advance Engineering in Birmingham in October. The company specialises in coatings and surface treatments for a wide range of industries including aerospace, defence, telecoms and engineering.

Oliver Tuckett, Business Development Manager at South West Metal Finishing, said: “Thank you to Devon County Council for the grant; this has enabled us to attend the Advanced Engineering trade show. We have set ourselves 18% revenue growth for this financial year. The Advanced Engineering show will enable us to target existing and new business growth, which will in turn benefit the local area by creating new jobs at our two Exeter sites.”

Lyster Surfcraft Ltd, in Exeter, which handcrafts high performance wooden surfboards, will be at the Southampton Boat Show in September.

Duncan Lyster, Owner of Lyster Surfcraft, said: “I didn’t even consider the possibility of going to a show until I discovered the grant, and there’s no way I’d be able to afford to go to the show without the generous help of Devon Delivers. I think it’s going to be a good opportunity to get the company name out there. We’re making boards with natural materials, that are not only beautiful but also lightweight and high performance.”

Other grant recipients who have already attended shows in recent weeks are:

Dartmoor Brewery Limited, from Princetown, which supplied its traditional craft ales at the Pub in the Park in Bath;

Lightfoot, the award winning maker of the world’s first technology to reward better drivers, utilised their Business Promotion Grant to exhibit at The London Motor Show in May. Lightfoot’s Head of Growth David Nicholls, said: “Our Devon-based team work tirelessly to build and scale the technology that saves lives, money and the planet by encouraging and rewarding better driving – the Business Promotion Grant helped us to project our brand into a new market segment with all the fanfare and attention that our wonderful team and product deserve.”; and

Twool, from Ashburton, which uses Dartmoor wool to make everything from twine and rope to hats and bags, attended this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Kim Stead, from Twool, said: “Representing the best of the west is at the very heart of our business. Presenting our business at a world class event is a huge challenge but an important challenge as it not only presents a stage for our business and products but also enables us to engage with prospective customers. It is with great pride that we went to Chelsea this year knowing that Devon County Council supported our ethos and business. What a wonderful county we live in.”

For more information on the Devon Delivers programme go to and

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