Leeds firm secures funding from the LEP to scale-up fight against the spread of germs

Surfaceskins, a Leeds-based healthtech university spinout company, has secured £40,000 investment from the LEP, in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

29 April 2020

Surfaceskins, a Leeds-based healthtech university spinout company, has secured £40,000 investment from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. It will fund new equipment to increase the production of anti-bacterial door push pads and handles and expand into new markets worldwide.

The self-disinfecting pads and handles release anti-bacterial gel when pressed, breaking the cycle of infection created as people touch doors in high-risk sites such as hospitals, care homes, schools and restaurants.

The LEP is investing in Surfaceskins’ innovative germ control product because it is vital to the national challenge, going forwards, to break the COVID-19 chain of infection.

With support from the LEP, Surfaceskins is investing in new technology to help meet the rise in global demand.

It has been a welcome grant at a very critical time in the growth and expansion of our business. This grant helps accelerate our production both in terms of larger facilities as well as the investment in technology to help us scale to meet the growing requirements of our customers.

Brian Waligora CEO of Surfaceskins

With healthcare institutions, schools and food manufacturers prioritising infection and virus control in response to coronavirus, the business has seen a 100 per cent increase in enquiries, including interest from customers in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Russia and New Zealand.

In addition to securing financial support, Surfaceskins has previously worked with the LEP to develop international markets; it joined the Leeds City Region showcase at Arab Health 2018 in Dubai. The UAE trade show is the largest annual gathering of clinical and trade professional across the Middle East and North Africa, attracting an international audience of over 55,000 people from 159 countries across the world. As a result, the company saw a significant increase in international interest.

Roger Marsh OBE, DL and Chair of the LEP and NP11 said:

“Innovation and research are key to stopping the Covid-19 crisis. Securing new international markets ensures the future health of our economy. If you are planning to ramp up production and grow your market share, we at the LEP are geared up to provide support.”

In addition to supporting businesses to accelerate production, the LEP is building on existing partnership working between local agencies in response to the pandemic, which includes channelling over £250 million of government grants to local businesses through West Yorkshire’s councils; helping people who’ve lost their jobs as a result of the crisis find alternative employment through the LEP and Combined Authority’s Employment Hub; and joining forces through the Local Resilience Forum to coordinate West Yorkshire’s emergency response. 

Businesses may be eligible for support with capital investments to manufacture or supply products to the NHS or wider health and social care sector. For more information, visit the-lep.com/COVID19.

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