Breathe Easy secures £50,000 grant from Scottish Government for lip-reading facemasks

Edinburgh start-up Breathe Easy has won a £50,000 grant from the Scottish Government to help with its development of the first lip-reading face masks in Scotland.

Breathe Easy secures £50,000 grant from Scottish Government for lip-reading facemasks

Established three months ago, by city businessman Gavin McAdam, the company has quickly grown and will use the funding to cement key partnerships and accelerate the production of the face coverings which have been warmly received by the deaf community.

The funding will also underpin further expansion plans as the business accelerates production of quality face coverings for various sectors including care organisations, NHS trusts and the medical environment.

The firm has been working closely with charities such as Deaf Action Scotland, National Deaf Children’s Society (Scotland), Steps To Hope, Visualise Scotland and Positive Pathways. Many Charities in England have also been in touch enquiring about partnering with Breathe Easy.

The company has grown rapidly, with additional production premises secured to meet the demand as well as the recruitment of extra staff. Production capabilities have significantly increased to cater for the growing demand and with over 50,000 face masks fabricated locally, plans to deliver ever-increasingly larger volumes continue to develop on a weekly basis.

Having struck a partnership with a local supplier able to provide large quantities of high-quality medical grade 100% supima cotton, Breathe Easy is focused on taking the product quality to the next level. Water repellent, heat treated, ultra-light, comfortable and tested for breathability, the durable and fashionable fabric not only comes in 11 striking colours and various print options, but it has withstood a harsh washing and tumble-dry testing regime set in an NHS laundry environment.

Welcoming the financial boost, Mr McAdam said it will facilitate further expansion and help the community ‘be safe’. He said: “Formal recognition of the need for these lipreading face masks has been a huge boost for our fledgling enterprise. The financial assistance will help us through essential development stages to ensure we can focus on delivering world class products.

“Whilst it is obvious this will benefit many disadvantaged groups in society, it is also hugely important to foster a positive outlook for the future at a time when negative outcomes and hard-line news headlines dominate the public agenda. We are confident we can contribute to a recovering economy and beyond and this award has provided renewed hope for our staff and customers alike.”

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund was created for SME businesses that can play a critical role in supporting Scotland’s economic recovery following the coronavirus outbreak but needed some immediate support.

Earlier this month the Scottish Government topped up the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund to provide support to as many companies as possible. The fund totalling £120 million has been managed by the Enterprise Agencies to provide support to viable but vulnerable SMEs that are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland.

Economy secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “We created PERF to ensure SMEs vital to their local economies were supported through COVID-19 and this fund, part of a wider package of over £2.3 billion from the Scottish Government, is helping thousands of businesses right across Scotland. This is an excellent example of a local business driving forward with a ground-breaking product and playing a key role helping keep people safe. It’s hugely encouraging to hear about the difference the support from PERF is making as we work towards economic recovery.”

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
Share icon
Share this article: