The Literacy Company
The Literacy Company works closely with schools to improve standards in English and to enhance the curriculum. They offer bespoke support and training for schools across the country. The team of dedicated consultants aim to encourage a love for literacy amongst teachers and students alike, by sharing inspirational and exciting texts.
Co-founders Linda Neill and Catherine Richardson started the company in September 2013, after pitching to acquire office space at the Riverside Innovation Centre (RIC) in Chester. Having both taught the subject of English at local schools, they identified a gap in the market for a specialist company to improve literacy standards. Their shared love of literacy lead to them setting up The Literacy Company. The office space at Riverside Innovation Centre was the base needed to develop their idea further and to officially establish the business.
Office space was not the only form of support the company received from the University of Chester’s Riverside Innovation Centre. The RIC has been designed to nurture and develop start-up companies by providing them with opportunities to network with on-site specialist staff and organisations. Since being based at the RIC, The Literacy Company has joined a network of like-minded companies and entrepreneurs. As a result the business has received advice from other businesses on topics such as HR, graphic design and promotional products.
The Literacy Company have also actively engaged with the University and have benefitted from some of the commercial services offered to businesses. The University is a proud delivery partner of the ERDF funded Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme, which aims to deliver support to SMEs and entrepreneurs in Cheshire and Warrington. By signing up to the programme, The Literacy Company have been able to attend funded masterclasses on topics such as sales and intellectual property. These masterclasses have helped the team at The Literacy Company develop skills which will help the company expand. They have already developed a number of materials that are selling well, and are in the process of remodelling the website to advance the sales side of the business.
Due to all the support The Literacy Company has received from the University and the RIC, the company has grown considerably. In September 2013, Linda and Catherine were the only members of staff at the business. Four and a half years later, the company now employs two members of staff, two sub-contractors and four associate consultants. The Literacy Company has also seen a 123% growth in turnover since moving to the RIC, and now works with schools across numerous local authorities including Birmingham, London, Bolton and Staffordshire. Catherine Richardson comments:
“The RIC is a great base for meeting clients, networking with other companies and having an expert on hand who can direct us to appropriate business support.” For further information on the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme, and to access 12 hours of fully funded support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01244 567 500. To find out more about the University of Chester’s Riverside Innovation Centre, please email RICMeetingRooms@chester.ac.uk or phone 01244 515 500.