Innovative company, Vetfleece, benefit from a 40% grant towards equipment
Vetfleece is a third generation family run businesses based in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
The company began by retailing veterinary grade vet fleece, which is designed for sick and recuperating animals. However, they soon found that demand for the products was far outweighing their supplier’s ability and made the decision to manufacture the fleece themselves. They began manufacturing their own fleece in 2016 and received trademark protection in Europe and the USA.
By 2018, the company wanted to innovate further to supply new shapes, sizes and designs to the market. The company were finding that too much man power and time were taken up cutting and packing the fleece, which was all being done by hand. This was hindering how much fleece the company could manufacture and therefore stopping the business from growing. They also wanted to be able to complete small batch runs in order to test new ideas, and to be able to offer bespoke styles to larger customers.
Vetfleece were introduced to the Product and Process Innovation (PAPI) project in 2018 by their local council. PAPI is an ERDF project which is delivered by the University of York. The project provides 40% grant funding for equipment on projects over £20k to support SME businesses in York, North Yorkshire and East Riding to innovate through new processes and new products.
The PAPI project were able to provide Vetfleece with a 40% grant to purchase three new machines. The new machines are able to cut the fleece in to pad sizes, allowing a more efficient production line. Vetfleece are also now able to test different patterns and develop new fibre compositions.
Cat, Business Development Manager at Vetfleece, says “we would definitely recommend this grant from PAPI, they’ve been absolutely fantastic from start to finish, and completely guided us through the process.”
Since receiving the funding and equipment, Vetfleece have developed new paw print designs for their products which are distinctive from the generic offer on the market. The new machinery has also reduced the volume of the Vetfleece product by 60%, which has a financial and environmental impact in terms of packing efficiencies saving plastic, miles, and cost of storage, materials and postage.
The equipment has enabled them to increase the amount of products produced and therefore how much they can sell. The company have also created one new full time job. Vetfleece are continuing to look toward the future, with further plans to link with other local companies and also to open the mill to educational visits.
Innovative companies, like Vetfleece, can benefit from funding from the PAPI project. Up to £20k funding is available for SME businesses in York, North and West Yorkshire and East Riding.
Further information on the PAPI project please visit: www.papi.org.uk or call 01904328076.
Vetfleece can be purchased online: www.vetfleece.co.uk or through a range of pet suppliers.
The PAPI project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.