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Dartford-based LED manufacturer 8point3 receives £200,000 interest free loan from TIGER scheme

By Chris Price

A lighting manufacturer is getting a £200,000 cash boost for its research and development programme.

LED designer and maker 8point3 will invest the money in developing new products and employing new staff after gaining an interest-free loan.

The cash came from the TIGER initiative, a project set up for businesses in the Thames Gateway through the Government’s £2.3bn lending scheme the Regional Growth Fund.

The 8point3 manufacturing facility in Dartford
The 8point3 manufacturing facility in Dartford

The news comes at a good time for the Dartford-based firm, which was named Most Promising New Business of the Year in the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2014.

The company – which operates from the SusCon research centre in the Bridge – is also a finalist in the Science and/or Technology Business of the Year category at the 2014 KEiBAs.

Managing director Ashley Bateup said: “Since we began trading, we have been at the forefront of developing LED lighting systems.

“We’d seen a gap in the market for a company that designed and manufactured bespoke LED systems here in the UK. At that time, most LED lighting companies were importing cheap replacement fittings from China.

“Since then we have been continually developing new products, using the latest leading edge technology, and the TIGER funding will help ensure that we continue to do that, grow our capabilities and develop staff.”

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