Grants for equipment to enable innovation in small businesses in York, North Yorkshire and East Riding

A Breath of Fresh Air

Simply Breathe, a manufacturing business based in the heart of Beverley, East Yorkshire, design and make compressed air products. 

The business was founded in 2012 by two firefighters, Matthew Sygrove and Joe Barratt who wanted to bring a product to the market which could supply a person oxygen in emergency situations, such as house fires.  The business was joined by a technical director, Dr. Tony Ryan, in 2016. 

As Business Director Joe Barratt explains, ‘You would give anything for your last breath of air. If someone wakes up to a fire and could have an extra supply of air, this would enable them to either remain in place, to await rescue, or escape from the situation to reach a place of safety.’

Since the creation of the business, Simply Breathe has grown rapidly and has a number of products on the market including: 

  • Recreational Oxygen – for use by athletes and in high altitude sporting activities
  • Gas Horn – operating at 120 decibels, they alert people to emergency situations and can be heard over industrial noise and other loud environments
  • Aquarium Plant Feeder – providing carbon dioxide to plants in aquariums
  • Air Dusters – used to clean hard to reach places such as printers and keyboards 

Simply Line of canisters

At the beginning, the business was fulfilling orders by hand, which was slow and inefficient. ‘A gas filling line was the obvious solution to our problem of increased demand but one which was financially beyond our means,’ says Joe. 

Supported by a £20,000 grant from the PAPI project, the business purchased a processing line which has allowed them to develop new products and increase production. 

‘It was a massive help that PAPI could provide us with this grant. It came just at the right time as there were orders we would have had to turn down. We did not want to let our customers down and possibly lose future business. Vicky from the PAPI project team helped us to submit our application, we could ring her anytime and we had all the support we needed.’   

Since receiving the grant, Simply Breathe has employed two additional members of staff to meet the demand of their growing business. They have lots of innovative products planned for future release to market, including a pet corrector and a hand-held emergency escape oxygen canister.  

sImply-machine'The purchase of the processing line has made an enormous contribution to our business. We can now manufacture everything in our order book and cope with increasing demand that is being brought about by new legislation. The increased efficiency of manufacture means we have more time for innovation and winning new business!’ 

For further information on Simply Breathe please visit




Could a grant from PAPI help your business?

The PAPI project provides grants for equipment that enables innovation through to new product development. A grant of 40% is available on a project spend of between £20k-£50k which equates to a grant of between £8k-£20k. For further information please visit the website or contact the PAPI team on 01904 32 8077 or