A Blackpool-based toy company which specialises in creating personalised gifts for children is set to create three jobs before the end of the year.
Cubbies, located in Lytham Road, is preparing to launch a new product range, following support from the UCLan Innovation Clinic, a part of Boost Business Lancashire.
The business, set up by Lee White in 2013, sells a range of soft toys which independent embroiders can buy and embellish - making them into personalised toys.
Cubbies’ new product range is a selection of animal-themed backpacks complete with a face, arms and legs which, like the stuffed toys, can be personalised.
The UCLan Innovation Clinic helped Lee to refine his product range and establish a look and feel with a unique shape that could easily identify the teddies as being Cubbies.
The backpack range has now been designed and Lee is in talks with manufacturers to get them produced.
He said: “The Innovation Clinic has been very supportive in helping get this new product off the ground. Together we came up with the concept and how it might look. They also developed CAD images and pattern design and have supported me to produce a prototype at UCLan which I am now using to show factories for production, I am just finalising the updated designs and we hope to launch the range by the end of the year.
“In order to grow and create new jobs I knew we needed a new product in a new market. I currently employ seven people and plan to increase this to 10 by the end of the year. This support has helped us to kick start the design and production process and put us on the right track for the future.”
Iain Martin, project manager at the UCLan Innovation Clinic, said: “Our work with Cubbies started with support to evolve the core teddy range and led to us working alongside Lee on designing a totally new product range -this is a great example of how one element of business support can springboard on to other areas making sure businesses receive the best support to reflect their plans.
“We’re incredibly pleased that Lee can now use the prototype we developed to show factories and when the product is launched it’s sure to be a hit with children across Lancashire and beyond.”
The UCLan Innovation Clinic has received £1.4 million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help 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 https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding