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Automotive firm is moving up a gear.

Byline: Jenny Waddington Business editor

AN AUTOMOTIVE firm is gearing up for the next chapter in its history by diversifying and expanding its premises in Coventry.

HPL Prototypes on the Windmill Industrial Estate in Birmingham Road, Allesley, specialises in creating prototypes from computer aided designs for global automotive, aerospace and marine companies.

The 30-strong firm is now moving into composite materials to be able to produce the entire prototype from design to production which will also create new jobs.

A high-tech design studio and production area is to be built thanks to a grant from round four of the Regional Growth Fund and an Innovation Networks grant from Coventry University Enterprises which were secured with help from the Clearing House.

The Clearing House is a one-stop-shop for support and advice for businesses which was formed by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its City Deal bid to government.

Partners involved include the Coventry and Warwick-Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, UKTI, Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry University, the University of Warwick and the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

Stuart LeCornu, chief executive officer of HPL Prototypes, said the grants would help the business to signifi-cantly expand.

"Our business is focused on working with the design studios of our customers and we have been extending our studio capability so that we can do more work for our current and new customers," he said. "We also want to develop the business into composite materials so we will have small production run areas.

"We're trying to link the traditional design with modern composite materials so that we can integrate the two rather than the two working independently. The work we are doing with Clearing House is to create that niche and to bring our workforce up to the technical requirements needed for the new area of the business.

"Our workforce will grow by up to ten people and we have had help through Skills 4 Growth to recruit two graduate placements in project management and process control as part of the Clearing House's remit to help businesses.

"The Clearing House has been really valuable not only in terms of gaining grants but we have also been signposted to companies such as the Warwick Manufacturing Group's Automotive Composites Research Centre and we are attending industry networking events which are really useful."

Phil Peak, an account manager at the Clearing House, said HPL Prototypes has world-class expertise and vast experience in producing automotive prototypes.

He said: "HPL Prototypes is a growing, diversifying company on a site in Coventry which has produced cars for the last 60 years.

"This is an exciting new era as they expand into another sector since further jobs and facilities will be created. The Clearing House is not only providing business support and information about a wide range of grants which are available but we are offering introductions to other likeminded businesses. "The amount of companies that we engage with means we are in a great position to connect businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire which can prove mutually beneficial."

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Stuart LeCornu | from HPL Prototypes (right) with Phil Peak from the Clearing House
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 2, 2014
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