An innovative new type of wheelchair wheel developed by a Boughton company could become a wheel of fortune for the local economy and transform the lives of wheelchair-users across the world.
Notts County Council has awarded Boughton-based Jelly Products a £43,635 grant from the Notts Economic Development Capital Fund (NEDCF) to manufacture the ‘Loopwheel’ – a revolutionary new type of wheel with an in-built suspension and shock-absorbers instead of spokes.
The design provides added power to the wheelchair users, enabling them to push over uneven streets, grass and gravel paths with less effort and offers the potential to improve their performance when competing in wheelchair-based sports.
The council grant has enabled Jelly Products to buy the new tools needed to manufacture loopwheels for wheelchairs. A number of prototypes have been produced using the new machinery, which are currently being tested by wheelchair users.
Coun Diana Meale, chair of economic development at Notts County Council, said: “Creating jobs and growth in Nottinghamshire is a priority for the council.”
“Loopwheel is a really exciting, innovative product which, we believe, has the potential to be a global success.”
“Although this scheme will not deliver the instant job creation of others we are supporting under NEDCF, we are investing in something with huge potential, not only for Jelly Products but also for the economic benefit of the county.”
Sam Pearce, the Notts-born inventor of Loopwheels, has recently been shortlisted for the prestigious Designs of the Year 2015. The design is one of six nominees in the Transport category at the international event, which also includes the Google self-driving car and the BMW i8 electric sportscar.
Sam said: “At our stage of growth, we neither had the money within the business nor was the bank able to extend a loan to invest further in the new tooling we needed.”
“We wouldn’t have been able to put our new design into production without the grant support from the council.”
Further information is also available at www.loopwheels.com