An ambitious digital brand strategy and design agency is preparing for a major leap forward with the help of a new six-figure investment from the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund.
JUMP offers the full range of design and digital commerce services to a growing roster of regional and national clients from its base in central Newcastle.
Founded in 2007 by graphic designer Lucy Batley and software developer Robert Brown, JUMP has developed particular expertise in the industrial/commercial and education sectors, and is now looking to double its turnover over the next three years by attracting both new and larger clients.
To help provide the working capital required to fund its expansion plans, JUMP has worked with NEL Fund Managers to secure a £150,000 investment from the Growth Fund.
Well-known names in JUMP’s client portfolio range from the National Trust, Kilfrost and technical outdoor clothing manufacturer Montane through to Newcastle’s Business Improvement District company NE1, Northumberland development company Arch and the recent Newcastle Motor Show.
JUMP’s workforce has grown by a third over the last year to reach its present total of 16, and the company is now actively looking to bring in specialist staff for a number of further roles, including PHP developers, digital marketers and a studio manager, with a view to having at least a 20-strong team by the end of 2015.
Lucy Batley says: “JUMP was established to be a truly full service brand, design and digital offering that we don’t believe is matched anywhere else in the North East, and we’ve grown by providing clients with access to a package of high-quality commercial services that are available from a single point of contact.
“We’ve had particular success in the user experience and search engine optimisation sides of the business, which reflects the emphasis that business now place on the digital side of their operations.
“Much of our recent growth has come through expanding the range of services we provide to existing clients, and we now want to grow the business by increasing both the number and size of regional and national clients that we have on our books.
“Having the right number and calibre of staff in place is crucial to servicing clients’ requirements in the right way, and we’re actively looking to continue creating new positions for people who offer very specific digital skills.
“Working through the investment application procedure with the very professional NEL team helped to give us new insight into our financial structures, and what we learned will be very useful in relation to our future development.”
Jonathan Luke, portfolio manager at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “The JUMP management team has a clear strategy in place to secure sustainable growth over the long term, and their vision, commercial acumen and passion for their work shone through during our discussions.”
Aimed at regional businesses which are at a development and growth stage, the Growth Fund forms part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund.
Managed by North East Finance, it will see £142m of investment capital injected into the region by the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13.
NEL is looking to make around 130 investments from the Growth Fund, and is actively looking to speak to ambitious north east companies with robust business plans.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0845 111 1850.
The ERDF 2007-13 programme is bringing over £300m into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the region’s productivity by £1.1bn per annum.