Family events business marks 35th anniversary with grant-supported facelift - The Rugby Observer

Family events business marks 35th anniversary with grant-supported facelift

Rugby Editorial 27th Dec, 2023   0

A FAMILY business from Rugby has marked its 35th anniversary with a facelift after receiving grant support.

Exhibitions and events agency Leo Associates has completed a £100,000 project to create a new open-plan office space with new ICT equipment, a new frontage and a revamped kitchen.

it was part-funded by £45,000 from the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) via Rugby Borough Council, and £5,780 from the Business Support Programme run by Coventry City Council, funded via the European Regional Development Fund.

The Somers Road business was set-up in 1988 by John and Julia Smith and is now run by their sons, Neil and Ross.




Neil contacted the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub looking for help with the cost of the refurbishment.

He said the renovations provided better working conditions for the business’ 16-strong staff, and a more welcoming environment for customers.


He said: “Ross and I have worked here since we were teenagers from the warehouse upwards, and we have been running the business for the last seven years before our parents officially retired during Covid.

“We were affected badly by Covid and we diversified into holding virtual events – but we have recovered well, retained all of our pre-pandemic staff and have taken on a new designer and project manager.

“The grants have helped with the infrastructure of our building because we hadn’t had a re-fit for over a decade. After Covid, we wanted to make improvements and without the grants we wouldn’t have been able to carry out all the work.

“The re-fit has made this a much more contemporary working environment in line with the ethos of our agency and we have also created an additional meeting space which has met with a positive response from our clients and staff.

“The business has also invested in creating a gym so we have a personal trainer who comes in twice a week to run sessions for everybody which is important from a mental health perspective.”

Coun Carolyn Robbins, Rugby Borough Council’s finance spokeswoman, said: “The council secured nearly £1million in ARGs to support borough businesses with robust, post-pandemic plans for growth.

“The office refit has brought benefits to both staff and customers of Leo Associates, and the council, working in partnership with the Growth Hub, was delighted to support the company in realising its ambitions.”

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