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Ipswich: Digital agency Crafted secures £60,000 Growing Business Fund grant from New Anglia LEP

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 April 2014

Brad Warwick of Crafted.

Brad Warwick of Crafted.

Lavenham Photographic Studio Ltd

A digital marketing agency with ambitions to become a regional digital hub has been awarded a £60,000 grant from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Business Fund to support its expansion plans.

Ipswich-based Crafted, which specialises in bespoke web development, technical solutions, design, search marketing and PR, is striving to be seen as the first port of call for local businesses requiring digital marketing services, skills and expertise.

In 2013 Crafted launched Digital Bites, breakfast networking with bite-size seminars on the latest online trends, and (in partnership with Ipswich Central and HTK) Drive Digital, a free educational programme to boost Suffolk’s economy by plugging the digital skills gap locally.

With a growing team of more than 50 digital marketing specialists the agency is ranked among the top five digital agencies in the East of England by industry heavyweights Econsultancy and The Drum magazine and works with more than 100 organisations across the UK.

Crafted has already expanded rapidly in recent years. It acquired additional premises at The Old Unicorn to accommodate its expanding team and the funding has contributed to a project leading to the creation of new roles within its sales, client services and search marketing teams to drive further growth.

Brad Warwick, commercial director at Crafted said: “Crafted has expanded considerably since we set-up in 2005. In just a few short years, we have grown from just two staff to become Suffolk’s largest independent digital agency and one of the top five players in the East of England.

“The funding from the New Anglia LEP is helping to drive the next stage of our growth. We have taken on additional premises, increased our team, and have already seen our turnover rise by 24% in the first six months of our new financial year.”

New Anglia LEP is urging small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Suffolk and Norfolk that want to grow their business to apply for a share of its £12million Growing Business Fund, which is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The fund provides grants of up to 20%, between £5,000 and £500,000 to businesses that have a shortfall in their investment plan and are able to create at least one job for every £10,000 provided by the fund. The fund has a very straightforward application process and to date 33 businesses have been supported forecasting to create more than 470 new jobs.

The scheme is aimed primarily at businesses within Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, Health/Life Sciences and Biotechnology, ICT and the Digital Creative sectors. However it is open to businesses in other sectors.

Nataliya Klymko, Growing Business Fund Coordinator, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer this scheme to our local businesses that are planning to expand but do not have enough cash to support their growth.

“Crafted is a fast-growing Suffolk business which can now expand into additional premises and employ more staff, these targets fulfil our ambition of creating jobs in Norfolk and Suffolk and driving the economy.”

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