Three businesses boosted by £885K of GMLF cash

The Greater Manchester Loan Fund has completed three investments, committing a total of £885,000 to support local businesses.

The £500,000 investment in Estio Training, £265,000 investment in The Essential One and £120,000 investment in Intact Projects will safeguard existing jobs and create more than 20 new positions across the three regional companies over the investment horizon, as well as providing capital to expand product lines and invest in enlarged premises.

The funding secured by Manchester-based Estio Training, an IT, digital, and tech apprenticeship and training firm, will be invested in improving and expanding the company’s existing training facilities to help attract an increasingly blue-chip client base, and grow the North-West office headcount by 40% in 2017 alone.

It will also help to fund Estio Training’s increased working capital requirements as the company scales the business to capitalise on its leading position in a growing technology apprentice market.

The company was founded in 2013 by managing director Robert Turner and commercial director Lee Meadows, who have strong backgrounds in training and recruitment and have capitalised on their combined skillset to grow the business to more than £6m of revenues.

Premium online maternity, baby and childrens’ clothing and accessories retailer The Essential One, based in Bolton, will use the GMLF investment to support international sales expansion, secure IP rights in the Middle Eastern, European and US markets, and expand its product range to incorporate higher-margin categories.

The company also intends to bring its design resource in-house and explore additional wholesale deals to widen its brand reach in the UK. The GMLF loan will safeguard six jobs, and create at least a further four in Greater Manchester by 2021.

Founded in 2011 by Karen Tyler who has over 30 years’ senior management experience working at blue chip retailers and in the nursery sector, The Essential One has achieved consistent year on year revenue growth since inception.

Intact Projects in Stretford, Manchesters is a long-standing supplier of semi-independent living facilities and individual support services for up to 20 vulnerable adolescents and young adults across Greater Manchester out of two premises located in Trafford and Stockport.

The GMLF investment will support the business through its next phase of growth and fulfil the increasing demand for its services, creating an additional four roles to the 12-strong team by 2019.

Led by founder, Hugh Ellison, the management team has a strong background in property management and considerable experience working with this demographic, which has enabled the company to retain its preferred supplier status to all ten Greater Manchester local councils.

Launched in August, 2013 by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and managed by Maven Capital Partners (‘Maven’), the GMLF was established to provide flexible finance solutions to businesses throughout the region to support their growth while safeguarding and creating jobs.

Since its launch the GMLF has supported more than 30 businesses like ETL, TEOL and IP to help them fulfil their growth aspirations. The fund continues to offer SMEs across the Greater Manchester region flexible finance packages of between £100,000 up to £750,000.

Gavin Bell, investment manager at Maven, said: “We are delighted to be investing in three high potential local companies, each with a unique proposition, strong management team, and compelling growth opportunities in their markets. Our North West investment team looks forward to working with each of these businesses, assisting their ambitious growth plans, while boosting employment in the region.”

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