Published on 7 July 2022
Archived on 7 August 2022
A specialist business, marketing and technology group has a new home in a Warwickshire town after receiving a grant to help make its move possible.
CAB Studios was launched 20 years ago and specialises in building digital platforms and driving business growth with online marketing in a variety of sectors including hospitality and property and has worked with clients ranging from the Body Shop to Fitness First.
After being based in Longbarn Village in Alcester for the last seven years, the business decided to buy premises in the town with more of its 31-strong staff splitting their time between the office and working from home.
Matt Wood, a partner at CAB Studios, approached Jim Clark at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub to find out if there were any grants available for the refurbishment.
Jim helped Matt complete an application form to apply for a grant from the £1.2 million given by the Government to Stratford-on-Avon District Council for its Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme to accelerate their plans.
CAB Studios was successful in receiving £40,000 towards installing new floors, painting, plastering, and internal work to provide a creative work space.
Matt said the difference the grant had made has been incredible with staff loving their new environment.
"As a business, receiving this grant has been one of the best things we have ever received because in the past, we thought this doesn't happen to businesses like ours," he said. "It has made a monumental difference.
"Covid-19 made everyone aware that there are different ways of working but your culture can stay strong because it is more about the values of the business.
"We had a war chest to cover the deposit of buying the building but we didn't have any money for the fit-out.
"Jim mentioned The Additional Restrictions Grant grant which was focused on supporting businesses with their post-pandemic recovery plans so we put a business case together to show our investment in the High Street in Alcester.
"The whole process was amazing. Jim was very generous with his time in helping to put the application together and it means a building that has been empty for the last two years is our new home.
"Our staff absolutely love it here because it is light and airy with collaborative space and since we are hot-desking it is a great way to get to know colleagues.
"This has really plugged us into the Alcester business community and we are also winning new work, particularly the hospitality sector with at least one new client coming on board every week."
Jim Clark, account manager at CWLEP Growth Hub, said the new offices looked fantastic and it was great to see the massive difference The Additional Restrictions Grant scheme has made to the business.
He said: "We provided a great deal of support to Matt and his team during the pandemic when they lost the hospitality sector of their business virtually overnight and they struggled to receive financial support because they were classed as a support service.
"But they reduced the cost of their retainers or put them on hold altogether and that proved to be a wise decision since CAB Studios is growing again.
"As part of their move, they paid BT Open Reach £6,000 to have Super-Fast Broadband installed into their building which was the first in Alcester High Street and, as a result, all businesses in this street now have access to Super-Fast Broadband.
"More of their staff now want to work in the office which means they are also bringing trade to Alcester town centre so it is move which has been beneficial on so many levels."
Cllr Jo Barker, Homes, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio at Stratford District Council, said: "Having spent all its original Government Grant Funding, the Council took the decision to focus the additional £1.2 million on those businesses who were reacting to the consequences of the pandemic.
"As the Council already had a strong working relationship with the Growth Hub, it made perfect sense to utilise their skills and expertise in determining who best deserved the funding for this scheme.
"The Council was very clear that we wanted the funding spread across the whole district and that it was about saving and creating jobs for the future. The results have been excellent."
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575