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Local Businesses All Wrapped Up

MySefton News

Expansion plans and Sefton as a great place to do business in were discussions as part of a tour of local businesses in the borough.

Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, Cllr Marion Atkinson and Bootle MP, Peter Dowd, recently visited two south Sefton businesses to hear of their development plans.

The tours were set up by InvestSefton – Sefton Council’s enterprise, business support and inward investment service who have helped both businesses through their ERDF Business Growth programme.

First up was a site visit to Hardy UK – a leading Bootle-based manufacturer and supplier of precision blades to the global leather industry.

Currently trading from Fernhill Road, Bootle, they employ 17 staff with the majority of them living in the borough.

With a long term plan to stay locally and grow the business and workforce, InvestSefton is assisting the business in their future growth plans and previous support has included Regional Growth Funding, assistance in becoming a member of Sefton Export Group and introductions to LJMU and Manufacturing Technology Centre.

The group then visited Gift Wrap Direct Ltd – an owner-managed business based in Netherton.

The business specialises in commercial B2B print and design services, including large format prints, banners and pop ups, and corporate gifts. They also have two outlets in the Liverpool City Region for print services for businesses and retail customers.

InvestSefton is assisting with preparatory work and market research for the concept and content for an e-commerce site, and an application for funding towards the cost.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Yet again it was great to hear how local businesses are thriving in the heart of Sefton and their stories capture so many interesting opportunities.

“For Hardy UK, they have become a long established company in Sefton and has remained at the forefront of technology in blade design and manufacture for the global leather industry; we have been delighted to support them with their growth plans”.

“Gift Wrap Direct UK are another success story and have benefited from the excellent support offered by InvestSefton as they go from strength to strength.

“With expansion plans and further development announced by both companies, it really shows how Sefton is open for business.”

Peter Dowd, MP and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “These visits prove the wealth of growing and innovative businesses we have in Sefton and I am delighted that the Council continues to support economic growth through services such as InvestSefton and Sefton@work.”

Peter Oxspring, Managing Director of Hardy UK, added: “For its iconic status and global recognition, we chose Made in Liverpool over Made in Britain for our marketing message. The people of Hardy UK and as such, of the greater Sefton area, make it the success story it is today and will continue to be in the future.”

Ian Coughlin, Managing Director of Gift Wrap, said: “We have had great support over the years from InvestSefton with Julie Swarbrick being pivotal in our growth and expansion plans.

“It was with Julie’s help that we secured funding for the development of our new B2B website currently under construction. These are exciting times for us with a vision for future growth that will be of benefit to businesses and employment locally.”

European Regional Development Fund
The ERDF Liverpool City Region Integrated Business Support project is receiving funding up to £2.7 million from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authorities for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit

Local Growth Hub
Developed by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in consultation with business, government, Local Authorities and support organisations, the Growth Hub coordinates and simplifies business support available across the City Region, joining up national, local, public and private support, creating a seamless customer experience for businesses. Business can also use the new web portal which helps match business needs with providers of advice, both commercial and financially supported. It offers a wealth of other information including business finance, skills, R& D advice and export support

Photographs attached:

1: Hardy – Robert Andrews (Director), Peter Oxspring (MD), Julie Swarbrick InvestSefton, Peter Dowd MP, Cllr Marion Atkinson and Gary Brine, Hardy production manager 

2: Gift Wrap Direct – Peter Dowd MP, Cllr Marion Atkinson, Ian Coughlin (MD), Julie Swarbrick (InvestSefton), Jamie Maxwell (Print & Design Manager)