LIF Case Study : Melin Energy Consultants 

Business is booming for an Ammanford company, thanks to an investment from the South West Wales Local Investment Fund (LIF).

Melin Energy Consultants, which works with local authorities, architects, builders and developers to create more energy efficient buildings, has been granted £4,265.92 from the LIF, which is aimed at helping small and medium sized companies in south west Wales.

The grant was used towards the purchase of a specialist computer server and phone system which has helped the company streamline its operations and free up technical staff from labour-intensive administrative work.

This has enabled the company to employ an office manager to control the administration and marketing side of the business, which, in turn, has led to an increase in work.

And it doesn’t end there – because of the increase in work, the company may look at employing further staff with specialist skills.

Director Jamie Best said: “The investment has benefitted us by freeing up technical staff by about 25 per cent, which means we can produce more work. Because of the increase in demand, we are now looking at taking on additional technical staff.

“We have been able to invest in a new specialist server system that will manage all our technical and design software in one place and streamline the administrative side of the company.

“We have also purchased a phone system to enable multi calls and correctly distribute calls to the right person – now it’s easier for clients to get in touch by phone and for us to get in touch with clients without having to wait for a free line.”

The company was directed towards the LIF by Carmarthenshire County Council business development officers.

Carmarthenshire leads the scheme in partnership with neighbouring authorities in Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, and Neath Port Talbot, along with the West Wales Chamber of Commerce.

Grants of up to £5,000 are being offered, with equipment, premises improvement, one-off marketing costs, website development and specialist software all eligible.

The £19.3 million LIF scheme has received £8.9million of European Convergence funding.
Over the next six years, 1,000 jobs are expected to be created, 1,400 companies supported and 400 new enterprises set up.

Simon Richards, business services manager, said: “This investment is helping to strengthen the economic base of this region by creating jobs, improving business competitiveness and by bringing increased prosperity to the region.”

Carmarthenshire’s executive board member for regeneration, Cllr Clive Scourfield, added: “This funding is helping local businesses grow. In these times of economic difficulty, we must do everything we can to support small and medium sized businesses and this European funding is one way of doing that.”

For further information about the grants, please call the Local Investment Fund Team on 01267 242391, or email lif@carmarthenshire.gov.uk
For further information about Melin Energy call 01269 591160 or visit www.melinenergy.co.uk.