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PAPI grant enables local firm Duraweld to secure government contract

Posted on 19 August 2020

The University-managed Product and Process Innovation (PAPI) grant scheme has enabled a North Yorkshire firm to produce 28,000 protective face shields a day, securing the work of 27 furloughed staff, and creating another 45 temporary jobs.

As the Coronavirus pandemic spread across the UK in March, Duraweld, a Scarborough-based plastic products manufacturer, was contracted by the UK government to supply plastic face protection for the NHS.


Duraweld had the expertise to design and manufacture the masks, but to meet the contract’s required 28,000 masks per day, they needed to invest in new machinery and sought help from PAPI, an ERDF-funded project which is delivered by the University of York.

A £20,000 grant enabled the firm to invest in a digital cutting device and quickly increase its output to meet the government’s requirements.

As well as bringing its existing workforce back to work, Duraweld has created another 45 posts on a six-month basis. After the government contract has been fulfilled they intend to use the new machinery to develop and manufacture a new range of products and enter new markets as the economy recovers. 


Duraweld’s Mark Yeung said: “The Product and Process Innovation (PAPI) project team at the University of York have been fantastic to work with.  At the height of the pandemic, when we were under pressure and working at a very fast pace, their help, support and flexibility was massively appreciated.  

“It's fantastic that we have been awarded the grant, and it has enabled us to invest in a critical piece of equipment which will allow us to deliver over five million Duraweld Face Shields to frontline health workers.”


The Duraweld face shield includes an innovative shortened design, enabling the user to lower their face without the shield touching their chest - a common problem which limits the downward field of view. This means the mask is particularly useful for those in the medical profession and anyone providing bedside care.

The PAPI Project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 to 2020.


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