Kudos Blends has set its sights on global growth after buying new equipment with help from a grants programme, having been awarded an £8,160 Small Equipment Grant to go towards the purchase of a texture analyser.

The machine provides objective data about the consistency and texture of products baked using Kudos Blends’ leavening agents and will help expand its global reach. This advancement in testing technology has already led to the recruitment of a new member of staff.

The grant scheme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Marches Growth Hub, is part of a £3 million funding package which also includes the Marches Building Investment Grant.

Kudos Blends, which employs nearly 45 people and was awarded the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2016, already enjoys a 74 per cent market share in the UK and says its export markets represent a huge opportunity for further growth.

Yvette Taylor, Bakery Projects Manager at Kudos Blends, said the new analyser was an essential part of their ambitions for further growth because it provides sophisticated, scientific results about the way their products work.

“Our mission is to supply the global bakery industry with healthier leavening agents that deliver the superior quality bakers expect from Kudos Blends. The credibility of the data from the texture analyser will give us further evidence that our products deliver the health benefits and quality that potential customers are looking to achieve.”

Programme manager Caroline Cattle said the grant programme – which had launched earlier this year – could help companies across the Marches realise their domestic and international growth ambitions.

“Kudos Blends is already a market leader in this country and this new machinery will help it grow its international markets still further, creating new business and jobs which is good for the whole regional economy.

“Companies across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin can all benefit from this programme and we would urge any business which meets the criteria to investigate how it can help them.”

Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are available under the programme, which is open to small and medium-sized companies across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

The grant is available as a contribution of up to 50 per cent and primarily covers B2B companies. Items purchased must exceed £500 in value and have a life expectancy of three years. Eligible projects must lead to the creation of at least one part-time job within six months or the creation of a new product or service to be used by other businesses.

Because of restrictions imposed by the ERDF, the scheme is not available to retail businesses, restaurants, drinking establishments and fast-food takeaways, online retail or rental businesses, farms involved in primary production, or local social welfare facilities.

Details of the scheme are available through the Marches Growth Hub.

The Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire can be contacted on 01432 261758 or email [email protected]

The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire can be contacted on 01743 250526 or email [email protected]

The Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin can be contacted on 01952 567589 or email [email protected]

Herefordshire Council is the accountable body for the scheme. Full details are available from the programme team on [email protected] or by calling 01432 261511.