Digital funding helps recycling business triple staff numbers

Clearpoint Recycling's commercial director Duncan Oakes with accounts administrator Tracey Bowling (left) and development director Sarah Sanpher. (S)
Clearpoint Recycling's commercial director Duncan Oakes with accounts administrator Tracey Bowling (left) and development director Sarah Sanpher. (S)

A recycling waste exporter has more than tripled its workforce after boosting its digital connectivity with £5,000 of funding from the Digital Enterprise business growth programme.

Harrogate-based Clearpoint Recycling, which sells recyclable household waste to recycling firms abroad, has grown from five to 18 staff since 2016, when it received the funding towards a £13,000 broadband upgrade.

The £8m turnover firm now handles over 144,000 tonnes of recyclable waste from collection sites across the north of England and Scotland, and exports 95 per cent of it to continental Europe.

Commercial director Duncan Oakes, who co-founded the firm in 2012, said: “I was quite cynical about the benefits of grant funding for businesses to begin with, but the funding we received from Digital Enterprise was the catalyst that really kick-started Clear-
point’s own investment in 
IT.

“We went on to develop a bespoke CRM system off the back of that connectivity upgrade. The initial support from Digital Enterprise was, without doubt, instrumental in enabling us to grow and to take on an additional 13 staff in Harrogate in just two years with more hires planned over the coming months.”

Worth £1,000 each, Connectivity Vouchers are aimed at small businesses with download speeds of less than 30 mbps, firms with poor network coverage, and those with a business need for improved broadband speeds.

Muz Mumtaz, programme manager of Digital Enterprise, said: “Clearpoint are a fantastic example of how upgrading digital technology can be pivotal for a business.

“The good news is that there are still £1,000 Connectivity Vouchers available for businesses in the Leeds City Region to boost their internet speeds and other digital technology.”

He added that there were only 250 vouchers in total and that interested businesses should act fast to secure 
one.

Digital Enterprise is funded by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, its nine local authorities and the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund.