Widnes-based Used Kitchen Exchange, in partnership with Liverpool John Moores, has been awarded a £120,000 government grant to expand its growth and create over 18o local jobs over the next five years.
Founded by Helen Lord in 2015, Used Kitchen Exchange sells approved pre-owned and ex-display showroom kitchens.
By extending the lifetime of a kitchen, Used Kitchen Exchange helps reduce the environmental impact of the industry.
It has repurposed 2,200 kitchen to date, which the company claims has saved 13,200 tonnes of carbon.
Among its kitchen showroom partners, the Used Kitchen Exchange works with members of the KBBG.
As a result, Used Kitchen Exchange is pending the international BCorp certification, which is granted to businesses which meet the highest standards of social and environmental purpose.
Used Kitchen Exchange will work with Claire Hannibal, professor of Operations Management at Liverpool Business School and associate dean of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the faculty of Business and Law.
Professor Hannibal will develop a strategy for the business to capitalise on the boom in new home furnishing markets, while also creating best practice for sustainable growth.
The aim is to help Used Kitchen Exhange fulfil its five year plans which include growing annual sales from £4million to £50million, and increasing carbon savings from 4,000 to 70,000 tonnes.
The two-year grant has been awarded through the Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme run by Innovate UK, on behalf of the Department for Business, Environment and Industrial Strategy.
The funding will enable the partnership to employ a Masters level, post graduate as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership associate to manage the project alongside the company and academic supervisors.
Helen Lord commented on the announcement: “We’re thrilled to have been selected for the MKTP grant and equally delighted at the prospect of partnering with one of our local universities to reach our ambitious expansion goals.
“Through growth in awareness and business expansion, we are going to normalise the sale and purchase of pre-owned kitchens.
“It’s a major opportunity because only 3% of kitchens are currently re-purposed.
“The benefits are enormous – it will bring cost-effective kitchens to the marketplace, while driving massive environmental savings. It’s a win-win for everyone. Let’s change the way we think about kitchens.”