LWIN member and LWIN’s Ealing Pioneers Grant winner Torpedo Factory Group (TFG) has announced that it has been acquired by Aukett Swanke Group Plc (ASG), one of the world’s global 100 architectural practices, and the only architecture firm to be quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

ASG’s skills and knowledge gained from many years at the prestige end of the traditional architecture market combined with TFG’s focus on exploiting the opportunities afforded by technology will allow the enlarged group to offer a wide range of services to existing and new clients in the property world. The transaction was an all-share deal with TFG shareholders taking a 40% stake in the enlarged group.

Clive Carver, Aukett Swanke Group Plc Chairman, commented:

“We were delighted to receive such a strong show of support from shareholders for the Torpedo Factory Group acquisition. Our focus now is to grow both the traditional core architecture businesses and to move forward quickly in the quest to develop the Group in the smart buildings arena.”

Nick Clark, TFG founder and CEO of TFG, who has joined the Board of Aukett Swanke as an Executive Director with immediate effect, commented:

“This transaction helps broaden TFG’s reach as it becomes a master systems integrator. Moreover, it provides a platform for growth and an exciting future for the enlarged Group.”

Read the full RNS here for more further details

The Ealing Pioneers Fund, launched by the Ealing Council and managed by West London Business, was a £1  million pot, shared by 12 select businesses based in the borough to boost economic growth and job creation in the region. VMI.TV hires out camera and digital equipment to TV and movie productions and are committed to a net zero strategy.

VMI was founded in 1980, and is committed to a net-zero strategy and was awarded ‘Hero of Net Zero’ at COP26 last year, and also recently designed a local ‘Climate Leader’ by Ealing Council. They now plan to build a new sustainable lighting division. The aim is to work towards replacing highly inefficient tungsten lighting in the TV and film industry and promote more energy efficient alternatives.

They run a series of free three-hour, in person workshops for busy producers and crew to directly compare and contrast the latest generation lights. The first of these workshops is on the 18th of May at West London College’s Studio, the home of the original BBC Ealing Studios.

Barry Bassett, the managing director, said, “By running these courses with Ealing Council’s support and in conjunction with West London College in Ealing Green, we are able to provide these courses entirely free of charge”

His experience has proved to him that clients are acutely aware of the need to change to low carbon models in everything they do but freelancers are too busy working to properly research more efficient alternatives. The grant, he said will help educate and inform their clients and the wider industry to use more sustainable fixture and accessories.

He believes that promoting the latest low-carbon lighting will help influence the bigger players to follow suit and steer the industry towards universally adopting low-carbon lighting technologies and reducing industry’s carbon footprint.

Learn more about some of their new eco-friendly devices by following them on Facebook or Instagram 

Source: Aroundealing


The Ealing Pioneers Fund, launched by the Ealing Council and managed by West London Business, was a £1  million pot, shared by 12 select businesses based in the borough to boost economic growth and job creation in the region. Doughlicious, one of the winners, is an award-winning brand that creates ready-to-bake and eat cookie dough using gluten free ingredients.

Doughlicious started in 2017 and is headed by USA-born entrepreneur Kathryn Bricken, and produces a range of ready-to-bake cookie dough treats that are on sale at major outlets across the UK. They are vegan, organic and gluten free and are all made using the finest natural ingredients that are sourced from reputable suppliers. Its cookie dough is produced in its eco-friendly, five-star food hygiene rated factory, powered by renewable electricity on the Park Royal estate, on the Europe’s largest industrial estates.

Kathryn says, “We saw a gap in the market for amazing tasting cookies that were soft, delicious and natural so we created a cookie dough that was better than that was already available by using oat flours, no white sugars or refined ingredients”

Kathyrn says that the fund, which they called, “Bake the world a better place”, will give them the ability to bake their cookies and package them in our new warehouse so people can enjoy them on demand, as well as a very special version that is super exciting and will be in supermarkets soon. She added, “every bit helps because everything is really, really expensive from the machinery to the labour, so just to have the opportunity to make this project happen and move it along a little more quickly with the grant was a really big blessing.”

She also praised Ealing Council who she felt were brilliant in supporting their application, keeping them in the loop at every stage of the process.

Source: aroundealing

The Ealing Pioneers Fund, launched by the Ealing Council and managed by West London Business, was a £1  million pot, shared by 12 select businesses based in the borough to boost economic growth and job creation in the region. Go Create Academy, one of the winners, offers creative media courses and qualifications.

With backgrounds in TV, radio and music, Peter and Susan, the founders recognised a lack of specialised creative skills which inspired them to set up their business in February 2020. They started delivering unique courses, such as vlogging, podcasting, mobile film making, creative sound and media production. They were clueless about the rise in demand the global pandemic was gonna bring about soon. Peter said, “Pre-COVID, we were very niche and highly specialised. During the pandemic every academic institution in the word suddenly had to go online.”

Susan Hickey, co-founder adds: “A lot of the educational institutions we were working with were very traditional in their thinking. Tech adaption is usually a slow process. One of the good things of the pandemic was that tech adaption fast forwarded 10 years just in one year.”

Go Create Academy started helping one of the schools in the university working with younger people to deliver online exams. They needed a safe examination system for children to also include relevant safeguarding, which the founders couldn’t find on the market. They then embarked on a research project to see whether technology like artificial intelligence (AI) can help develop a safe system to regulate exams, without unnecessary data obtaining and sharing. They started a developing a system, which they piloted in October 2020 when they ran the first live AI invigilation online. They found it to be more efficient, easily spotting if there was a cheating attempt.

Susan added, “After a few more pilots, last year we realised that we have developed a reliable quality control system ticking many boxes for education institutions when running exams online. We are really proud of it.”

Peter continues: “Our work with the university empowered us to become in essence our own examination board, so we can respond to the needs of the market really quickly. We are releasing the world’s first beatboxing exams later this year and have created the world’s first beatboxing notation system.”

The grant funding will help Go Create Academy to further develop the artificial technology to mark exams. It’s currently not an end-to-end solution. They would like students anywhere in the world to be able to enrol, take their exam and receive digital certification. The funding will also be used for training in new skills areas.

Source: aroundealing

The Ealing Pioneers Fund, launched by the Ealing Council was a £1  million pot, shared by 12 select businesses based in the borough to boost economic growth and job creation. Ealing Distillery, one among the winners sells hand-crafted gin locally in the Borough.

Ealing Distillery, launched in 2019 by Simon Duncan and Amanda Duncan, sells hand-crafted gin locally in the Borough. Distilled in traditional copper still named Felicity, the gin is in the super premium category which means it uses the finest botanicals as well as the London dry gin distilling process.

Since its launch, Ealing distillery has also won two international gold medal awards – International Wine and Spirits Competition (WSC) and The Gin Masters. Amanda had bene working at a public relations consultancy in Soho for 25 years, helping it grow to 140 members of staff while Simon started his career in marketing, and then set up a software business from home, helping small and medium sized businesses to set up their own websites.

Amanda says, “We’ve always wanted to run a business together and decided that creating Ealing Gin would be it. We decided to take the leap and go for it and now we are both working full time at Ealing Distillery.”

Wondering how the gin is made? Amanda shines a light on the process,

“We hand weigh all our beautiful botanicals to very precise measurements and our own recipe. We then carefully place them into Felicity our still along with neutral grain spirit (pure alcohol made from wheat here in the UK) and pure filtered water from our own filtration system. The ingredients steep for a minimum of 24 hours before it is switched on. It takes around six hours to distil one batch. As a small handmade batch maker, we produce a couple of hundred bottles with each batch. By gin standards, that’s tiny, but it means that every batch is guaranteed to be super-high quality.”



While the duo manages the business on their own-from e-commerce and website to content creation and accounting to making the gin in itself, they do have a part-time staff helping them with sales and marketing. They hope for to build a bigger distillery in the heart of Ealing, for people to visit and experience Ealing and to also see how the gin process works. The believe the pioneers grant will accelerate their ability to do that. They want to use the grant to build the brand and business up, raising awareness in Ealing and beyond its borders.

Source: aroudealing


Ealing Council has announced the launch of the Pioneer’s fund, to provide innovation grants to local Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). This exciting opportunity is designed to deliver targeted innovation grants to businesses in Ealing that are able to demonstrate a good prospect of accelerated growth and job creation with the support.

The grants, which will be supported in delivery and management by West London Business, are available from £50,000 to £200,000 and Ealing Council expects to pay six to nine grants. The fund is open to applications from Wednesday 10 November 2021. Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for decent living incomes said,

The project team is particularly keen to hear from smaller businesses who would benefit from the financial support and partnering opportunities afforded by innovation funding … all proposals will be carefully considered and the team will try to provide feedback to all parties submitting a full application. In addition, any ideas submitted will be treated as commercially confidential and we will respect fully any intellectual property of the originator, regardless of whether we choose to award a grant.

Ealing Pioneer’s Fund, aimed at boosting growth and job creation in the area will be focused on the following strategically significant sectors.

  • Aviation/Logistics
  • Food
  • Creative/media
  • Retrofit/ Construction tech

Among the sectors, there will be priority for low carbon and/or circular economy innovations. The eligibility criteria for businesses to apply for the grant include:

  • Must be based in Ealing Borough
  • SMEs, defined as companies that have not more than 250 employees, an annual turnover of not more than £25.9 million and a balance sheet of no more than £12.9 million in total.
  • Collaborative applications are engaged. This could be with a client or a supplier, an academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO).
  • Projects can last from 12 months up to a maximum of 18 months.
  • Projects must demonstrate a potential economic and/or employment benefit for Ealing.

The application process consists of two stages, the first stage consists of submission of information of your innovative idea, the sector you want to target, estimate of a the timeline and the cost of the project and outline of potential project benefits, estimates of business turnovers etc. Once successful, you will be invited to proceed to the second stage within 72 hours of application.

The call for proposals will close at 4 pm on 31 December 2021. The grants will be approved by the end of January 2022, with payments made to the recipients by 31 March 2022. Learn more about the fund and apply today!