Cable maker plans expansion with Chrysalis backing

A KNOWSLEY-based cable maker has secured a £3.5m loan from the Chrysalis Fund to expand production.

Tratos UK supplies low voltage cables to the power distribution industry but plans to expand into new markets such as rail and off-shore wind in a move that could create 100 jobs.

It will use the money to buy a site adjacent to its base in Randles Road, Knowsley Business Park, and redevelop existing facilities. In total it will add 100,000 sq ft to the firm’s manufacturing capacity.

Tratos, part of an Italian group, is also seeking a grant from the Regional Growth Fund to help cover the cost of investment in new equipment.

Managed by Igloo Regeneration, GVA and RBC Capital Markets, the EU-backed Chrysalis provides senior and mezzanine loans to various commercial property and regeneration projects in Merseyside. The money must be spent by the end of 2015, although no more than £8m can be invested in any single project.

Kevin Martin, finance director at Tratos said: “The redevelopment and expansion of our existing facility not only protects existing jobs, but will assist in regenerating the area and creating more job opportunities.”

Jim Gill, chair of the Chrysalis Fund, said: “This investment in the expansion of Tratos’ production facilities in Knowsley represents an important boost to the manufacturing sector in the city region, creating jobs and building the supply chain for key sector development in the region. It is great to see a Knowsley firm with such ambitious expansion plans and we’re delighted to facilitate this next step in the company’s growth.

“At Chrysalis we want to support industrial and commercial growth across all parts of the city region. The Tratos investment comes hot on the heels of our recent £4.8m deal to enable the redevelopment of Watson House in Liverpool city centre. We have a number of additional deals in the pipeline which we hope to be in a position to announce before the end of the year.”