This company accessed Growth Hub support via its local Growth Hub advisor between December 2017 and August 2018. Hull Blast is the Humber region’s only indoor ‘Nerf Gun’ activity centre, which is primarily aimed at children, teenagers, and NERF enthusiasts. The MD, Kris Guy, contacted the Growth Hub Advisor for Hull in December 2017 to request information about sources of start-up funding, that could be used to ‘top-up’ the company’s existing debt finance to help complete the build of the indoor centre. The advisor was able to broker contact between the company and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) and its Microfinance strand, and the company obtained at £25,000 loan as a result of this brokerage, which helped them to complete the build and open to the public in March 2018. The advisor was also able to conduct a full business diagnostic with the company directors, which led to the following support:
- Brokerage with the local authority’s Environmental Health team to allow the company to obtain a pre-registration ‘food advice visit’, as the facility was to host a café.
- Support to create a pre-launch sales and marketing plan to create interest and drive footfall to the business upon opening.
- Referral to the ESF-funded Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) Programme which allowed the company Directors and staff to take part in fully-funded training on such areas as customer service best practice and data protection (GDPR).
- Support to rectify a business rates issue with the local authority business rates team.
- Referral to the ERDF-funded ‘Finance for Growth’ programme to allow the directors to access support and advice with dealing with an equity-investment proposal that they had received.