Clegg in visit to bed firm that’s dreaming big

Nick Clegg heard about a bed company’s expansion plans as he visited Yorkshire firms that have benefited from a major injection of government funding.

Nick Clegg with side stitcher Andrew Davis and Simon Spinks, MD of Harrison Spinks

The deputy prime minister was given a tour of Harrison Spinks, in Beeston, Leeds, after announcing the company is to get more than £2 million from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to create 138 jobs and safeguard another 40.

Mr Clegg also dropped in at Moments Coffee, a new independent coffee shop in Leeds, which was hosting an access for all support programme for small businesses and visited Normanton-based storage box company Really Useful Products, which has secured £1million of RGF investment to create 175 jobs.

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He said: “Investment allows these ambitious companies, in Yorkshire and across the country, to grow and create more jobs. It boosts the local economy, and helps fuel Britain’s economy.

“I want 2014 to be another great year for growth in Yorkshire. And the eyes of the world will be on us as the Grand Départ of the Tour de France takes place here, bringing millions of pounds of investment to help the region thrive.”

The £2.4 billion RGF was set up by the Government in 2010 to support private companies outside London and the South East which want to expand.

The Government says £310 million has been awarded to 49 businesses in the Yorkshire region since 2010.

Added to £4.5 million of private sector funding, the RGF money awarded to Harrison Spinks will be used to develop an innovative recyclable spring for use in a range of furniture and other products.

Managing director Simon Spinks said: “The RGF funding allows us to accelerate our research and development in high performance spring technology to be developed further for use in mattresses, upholstered furniture, cot mattresses, car seats, office chairs and even footwear.

“The RGF funds awarded will contribute towards the development of people and the innovation this will allow within the business.”

Really Useful Products finance director Neil Ashton said 24 new jobs had already been created.

He added: “The money will also help us expand our family-owned business and create 175 new jobs in the area over seven years.”