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Funding caters to business needs

Date: 25/11/2008           Category: Economic Development

A catering company has installed a bespoke IT system for stock control thanks to the Medway Council Partners for Growth business funding scheme. Normas Catering, which is based in The Historic Dockyard Chatham, received a £10,000 PFG interest free loan and has used it to update IT software and provide NVQ training opportunities for staff. Managing Director Andrew Mackness said: “The stock control system automatically updates the stock levels and calculates the amount of cash taken by our nine vehicles on a daily basis. The system will help to reduce waste and therefore make the company more efficient.” Normas Catering started 23 years ago with a number of cafes in south London and Gravesend. A corporate platter delivery service from the Gravesend shop soon took off and with the purchase of a van the company was soon headed in a new direction. Andrew and Nancy Mackness took over the running of The Guardhouse at Anchor Wharf in the Dockyard in 2007. The location provided them with a good position and a pleasant and secure environment. However, the building was derelict and needed a lot of work to bring it up to a hygienic facility suitable for food preparation. Normas is also celebrating being named as an official supplier to London 2012. Andrew said: “There is a perception that only large firms can get involved with 2012 but there’s plenty of opportunities for smaller companies too. We’re excited to be part of 2012 and all the opportunities that it will bring for the company, for Medway and for the UK as a whole.” Normas employs 24 staff and donates its surplus food to a homeless charity in Chatham at the end of every day. On a daily basis it serves 1,200 customers. That equates to 600 sandwiches and 15 kilos of bacon. It buys 1,200 rolls a week and 200 loaves of bread. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth Cllr Jane Chitty said: “Normas Catering provides training to local people, often giving them a second chance to enter the world of work, especially if they have been unemployed. Normas is committed to training and inspiring its staff to progress with careers in catering all of which I commend.” For more details of Partners for Growth contact Medway Council's Economic Development Team on 01634 338138 or email business.support@medway.gov.uk