For Luton-based electronic manufacturing company Jaltek, COVID-19 struck at a time of significant sustained growth.

Jaltek was founded in 1988 and has seen business double in the past four years, culminating in a win at the East Midlands Manufacturing Awards in 2020 and being named a UK Business Hero by the Countess of Wessex for their efforts during the pandemic.

Exciting plans had been drawn up to take on an additional facility and increase the workforce to cope with extra demand and new clients.

Rather than putting the plans on hold, Jaltek – helped by SEMLEP – has been able to press ahead even with the challenges brought on from Brexit, the pandemic and component availability.

Jaltek’s Steve Blythe said: “With an overall increase in business and more clients wanting full system build we needed additional space and equipment. Having spoken with SEMLEP, this grant felt like the right fit at the right time.”

Support from the Recovery and Resilience Grants Scheme ensured the development was able to proceed, with funding enabling the purchase of vital equipment to kit out the state-of-the-art facility and pave the way for a new era for the company.

Steve added: “We first heard about the grant through the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce. The team at SEMLEP have been fantastic to work with, helping us be successful in our application and ensuring the funds were assigned diligently and professionally.

To be able to push ahead with our plans for the additional 7,000sq ft facility at this time is excellent and allows us to support our customers growing requirements.

“It’s helping to invest and create a number of high-quality, long-term jobs. We like to look after our people and have a family ethos, recruiting people with the right attitude is important to us and we’re now creating opportunities for more people to enjoy successful careers.

SEMLEP have been brilliant, they have been supportive and have been there to help every step of the way. It’s been good to develop such a strong relationship and we look forward to that continuing for many years to come.

Jaltek, which provides a full service all the way from initial design concepts to turn-key ‘box-build’ solutions for a wide array of UK and global clients, will see their workforce grow from circa 85 to over 130 in the coming years – with SEMLEP’s support playing an important role in that journey.

Jaltek’s Steve Pittom: “COVID has clearly been an issue for our industry as with so many others. With so many associated factors including supply chain issues. We remain in a very strong position and the additional funding helps to ensure we continue to grow and become even more resilient.