Grant funding helps companies grow

A Llanelli-based company is on-plan for a healthy increase in turnover thanks to a grant from the South West Wales Local Investment Fund (LIF).

Vaughan Sound Installations, part of the Dafen-based PAI Group, has been successful in gaining £4,280 of funding from the new scheme, which is aimed at helping small and medium sized companies in south west Wales.

Vaughan Sound Installations has been established for over 40 years, and specialises in installing, servicing and maintaining a variety of sound, audio-visual and communication systems.

In light of the current economic climate, the company recognised that more of its world-wide clients would choose to service existing equipment and planned for an increased turnover in this area.

The LIF grant enabled the company to purchase a service software programme to cope with demand, and it has already started to pay dividends.

Chris Ash, Commercial Director for the PAI Group, said: “We have a diverse customer base from small sole traders to world-wide high profile clients, and when we expected an increase in customers’ servicing needs we acknowledged the need to re-design the department and introduce new IT systems.

“We had forecast a 25 per cent increase in the turnover of our service department in 2009, and to-date we are on plan. Therefore we are already reaping the rewards in the early stages of this new software.”

He added: “We have an excellent working relationship with our business development officer at Carmarthenshire County Council who has guided us over the years with possible opportunities for grant support.

“I would definitely recommend the LIF grant to other businesses, and whilst the application process may seem daunting it is in fact a lot easier than it looks.”

The South Wales Local Investment Fund aims to increase the number of firms in the region, and offer better support to existing companies.

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

Over the next six years, 1,000 jobs are expected to be created, 1,400 companies supported and 400 new enterprises set up.

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

The £19.3 million scheme has received £8.9million of European Convergance funding.

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: “It is wonderful that companies like Vaughan Sound Installations can access this funding to help their businesses grow. In these times of economic difficulty, we must do everything we can to support small and medium sized businesses.”

For further information about the grants, please call the Local Investment Fund Team on 01267 242391, or email [email protected]

For further information about Vaughan Sound Installations, call 01554 740500, or visit


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