DPI (UK) LTD manufactures bespoke aluminium frames, lightboxes and structures for use in retail, airport and exhibition environments among many other areas of sign and display.


The business was started three years ago by directors, Sandra Wiggins and Paul Tomlinson (pictured) and has grown rapidly since then. From simple aluminium frames they’ve added light boxes which can be used for a variety of applications. Their growth has led to an increase in customers and employees to their team as well as a move to larger premises.

The business has received a grant of just over £12,000 from the Collaborate project towards the purchase of a new automated Elumatec DG104 twin-headed mitre saw. This enables them to cut larger profiles and produce larger structures here rather than shipping them in from overseas. This new piece of equipment will allow them to reduce lead times to meet client demands. In turn this will mean an increase in jobs available in their workshop and sales office. Sandra said:

The business has grown significantly and our current saw was needing more and more maintenance which caused delays and longer lead times. The new saw has given us the capacity to not only cover off existing workload in the event the old one breaks down, but also for us to produce the larger profile lightboxes and stands in-house making us much more competitive. It also allows us to double our output as we’ll still use the old one for smaller or lightweight operations.

“Without the Collaborate grant we probably wouldn’t be able to make this investment for another year or two, making us dependent on EU suppliers, less price-competitive and more exposed to fluctuations in the exchange rate and uncertainty on free movement of goods after Brexit. We’re grateful for this support at this crucial time in our growth.”

Leicester City Council is the accountable body for Collaborate. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and partners: Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and the Food and Drink Forum. If you are an SME, trading business-to-business in Leicester or Leicestershire, find out if Collaborate can help you make 2018 a year of growth by registering your details here.