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Unlocking Success: Furniture Clinic's Growth Journey with Business Durham's Support

Furniture Clinic

As we reflect on businesses that have reaped the benefits of the support provided by Business Durham, RTC North, and UMi, we look at the compelling examples that demonstrate the significant impact this support has had. These success stories stand as testament to the results achieved by companies across County Durham who have accessed the support available.

A County Durham-based furniture restoration and repair company is urging businesses across the county to tap into a new support programme, Durham Business Growth, which could help them fast-track their growth plans.

Located at Number One Industrial Estate in Consett, Furniture Clinic made a pivotal move two years ago when they accessed grant support from the County Durham Growth Fund. This funding allowed the company, specialising in restoring and revitalising leather, fabric, and wood products primarily for the DIY market, to relocate from Burnopfield and acquire significantly larger facilities.

Initially, they had considered rental options to facilitate their expansion.

While the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)-backed County Durham Growth Fund has come to a close, a new programme, Durham Business Growth, has now been launched to continue to support business growth in County Durham. This initiative has a total value of £8.16 million, with £4 million earmarked for business grants, building upon the success and lessons learned from the County Durham Growth Fund. The new programmes is led by Business Durham, the business support service for Durham County Council, in collaboration with delivery partners RTC North and UMI.

Businesses across a number of sectors can apply to the Durham Business Growth programme for support.

Ben Staerck, who founded Furniture Clinic alongside his father Keith in 2005, encourages businesses to capitalise on the available support. He reflects on the pivotal role that Business Durham and the County Durham Growth Fund played in their growth journey, culminating in their decision to purchase property rather than rent it. Ben shares: “The support we had from Business Durham and the grant from the County Durham Growth Fund were crucial to our growth and our decision to purchase our premises rather than renting.

“Renting was the original plan when we decided to relocate, however when we were successful in our application for grant support, it made buying much more realistic.

“The additional space meant we could increase manufacturing capacity and invest in new machinery, which has helped us double our turnover to £15m across our UK and US businesses since receiving the grant.

“We are also looking at extending our current site as we are rapidly outgrowing it and that’s something we’ll pick up next year.

“I would say to any business with growth plans to look into how this programme could help them. The support we received made a huge difference - it meant we could bring in more work and continue our growth in the lucrative US market.”

Since being awarded the County Durham Growth Fund grant, Furniture Clinic has allocated £200,000 toward a state-of-the-art production line, increasing its capacity by a remarkable 150 percent. The company now manufactures approximately 200,000 units per month.

Durham Business Growth is now open for expressions of interest, with the initial grants scheduled for allocation from September onwards. Together the delivery partners, Business Durham, RTC North and UMi, plan to provide assistance to around 900 businesses throughout County Durham over an 18 month period, and award 250 grants to projects spanning a diverse array of sectors.

Sarah Slaven, Managing Director of Business Durham said: "We are delighted to have been able to support Furniture Clinic as they have grown their base in County Durham while looking to develop new products and enter new markets. It has been a pleasure working with Ben and his team and seeing the business go from strength to strength.

“We look forward to supporting many more ambitious businesses to fulfil their growth plans and make a positive impact in our region through Durham Business Growth and encourage all companies in the county to take advantage of the support available.”

To register your expression of interest, visit, or email


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