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Fylde coast manufacturer aiming for rapid growth following Boost support and innovation funding

Ecoduct

An innovative manufacturing company on the Fylde coast is in the process of relocating to new premises which will allow it to quadruple in size after receiving growth support from Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and research and development funding from Innovate UK Edge. 

Ecoduct manufactures ductwork, a component in the heating, ventilation and cooling of buildings, using lightweight materials rather than traditional galvanised steel. Its product saves energy, cutting customers’ costs and reducing their environmental impact.

Craig McNaught launched the company in 2019. After joining forces with two industry contacts as fellow directors from a previous role, he approached Boost in 2022 for support to significantly expand the business.

The company was visited by Mike Reece, an adviser from Boost’s Business Advice Service to understand the company’s ambitions and develop a growth strategy. Mike had supported a former colleague of Craig’s at a previous ductwork manufacturer and understood the business and the directors’ ambitions.

As well as advising the company to consider a move to a larger premises, Mike referred Ecoduct to a number of targeted support programmes for Lancashire businesses including Made Smarter, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and Chamber Low Carbon.

“After we initially met with Mike, the support snowballed from there really,” Craig said.

“We’re working with the AMRC on Building Information Modelling (BIM), helping us to better plan the design of our units within buildings. The other programmes are helping us to improve specific aspects of our manufacturing process.”

Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. Led by Lancashire County Council, it is supported by Government and ten local authorities in Lancashire. Boost’s support helps ambitious Lancashire businesses start, grow and scale, realising their growth potential, creating jobs and boosting the economy.

Since 2013, it has supported over 14,000 businesses, helping create 3,500 jobs while adding £100m to the local economy.

Through Boost, Ecoduct was also introduced to Alan Reid at Innovate UK Edge, who suggested the company apply for the Innovate UK Transformative Technologies grant, a competition for a share of £20m grant funding to develop new products or services significantly ahead of those currently available.

Ecoduct successfully received around £50,000 funding which it has used on additional quality testing of its products as well as improving their cost to market.

“We have added to our product range and the funding has helped us by funding testing, such as leakage testing on our ductwork, which has enable us to achieve Class D at 2,500pa” said Craig. 

“We have had brilliant results, we can now say we have the most airtight ductwork on the market.

Ecoduct has supplied clients including Nike stores, the Arndale in Manchester and is also expanding internationally.

The company, which started with its three directors, is now employing 12 full-time staff. It is currently in the process of moving to a new base in Fleetwood. Craig says the move will allow it to increase capacity by around four times and hopes to begin recruiting once the move to the new location is complete.

He said: “We have a product which saves up to 45 per cent of the energy costs of traditional air conditioning systems and 75 per cent of the carbon footprint so we are receiving interest from places like the Netherlands and the US,” added Craig.

“It’s important that we establish our new base first then we will be able to expand in line with that demand.”

If you’re looking to grow, scale or start your business, use Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. We offer a range of funded business support services. Call our Business Support Helpdesk on 0800 488 0057 to find out more or complete our enquiry form.

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