Portable container and cabin company enjoys faster growth with funding support


About the business

Portable Space has grown rapidly and now offers portable accommodation, shipping containers and container conversions for hire and sale, for use as offices, toilet blocks and turnstile units for festivals. It has grown steadily and now owns a total of 1,900 units.

The issue that Portable Space faced

Having enjoyed a number of years of continuous growth, Portable Space had ambitions to further expand its operation and improve its customer proposition. The company identified that to meet its growth ambitions it would need to upgrade its website, increase its transport fleet capacity and invest in new delivery tracking technology for its drivers. Commercial Director, Mark Dolman, worked closely with New Anglia Growth Hub to secure the necessary funding to accelerate the delivery of its plans.

What made the business turn to the Growth Hub?

The Growth Hub had provided Portable Space since 2015 with business support and advice, and has also facilitated access to grant funding. Working closely with their Growth Hub Business Adviser, funding availability matching their specific business activities and growth ambitions were identified.

How the Growth Hub helped

Before making an application for funding, the company’s Directors met with Growth Hub Business Adviser, Richard Glinn, and identified the key criteria likely to meet with approval. This took a considerable amount of paperwork preparation, to put together a compelling argument. Richard helped with the completion of the application and presented compelling evidence to support Portable Space’s assertion as to how the grant would be of benefit.

Richard also played a key role in helping Portable Space anticipate the monitoring requirements that come with grant funding after its award. His knowledge and experience of working with a wide variety of businesses meant that he could quickly address issues as they arose.

In 2018, Portable Space received total grant funding of just under £24,000 which accounted for 20% of the total cost of the growth project of £120,000.

What impact did this have on helping the business expand?

Mark Dolman explained, “Being open with Richard about our business plans enabled him to see the big picture and the challenges we faced. He was proactive about giving us advanced notice of appropriate grant funding and support. We are delighted with the relationship we have with New Anglia Growth Hub and would recommend any business with ambitions of growth to get in touch with them to see what sort of assistance they can provide. Without their help we wouldn’t have achieved our level of success so quickly. We are definitely going to keep the relationship going as we have very ambitious plans for further growth!”

The Business Adviser’s view

Richard Glinn said, “The management team at Portable Space realised very early that engaging with others outside their organisation would accelerate their growth. We want to see all the money that goes into businesses make a difference and help them grow. With Portable Space that’s exactly what happened!”

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