Medical diagnostic cleaning firm helps in Covid fight after funding boost

James Staniland and Adam Murfitt, ClearTrace

A Lancaster company providing medical cleaning services and products is helping to fight the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to £50,000 funding boost.

ClearTrace has developed a lateral flow Covid-19 test and has now supplied tens of thousands of tests to organisations including Leeds United Football Club as well as offering products such as alcohol-free hand sanitiser under its brand ClearTrace Life Science Research.

The company, which now operates from Lancaster University, was formed to provide medical cleaning services such as ambulance cleaning as well as offering its own chemical product range.

ClearTrace received a £50,000 loan from Lancashire County Council’s Rosebud Fund in late 2019, which has allowed the company to scale up, enter a variety of new markets and develop new products to meet emerging medical challenges through 2020.

Adam Murfitt, managing director, said: “We decided to scale the business in order to not lose our competitive edge. To do that, we needed a cash injection and after speaking with several banks, Rosebud was highlighted to me.

“We received a £50,000 loan which allowed me to put everything in place for the next three years of growth. We developed new products, visited trade shows and built the brand.”

After receiving Rosebud funding, ClearTrace has grown its client base from around 10 to 50 customers across the UK, including the NHS as well as advising the Isle of Man government.

The company has also outgrown its previous base and moved into Lancaster University’s Health Innovation Campus in late 2020.

The funding and Lancaster University links have also allowed ClearTrace to develop new products to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, such as their hand sanitiser gels.

It has also partnered with several manufacturers to develop antigen testing kits which it has been able to test quickly and effectively against emerging Covid variants at its university base.

Adam added: “We have developed our antigen testing capability. This has been a big growth area and we are supplying to a growing number of clients while also testing our own staff.

“I would never underestimate the support we have had from Lancashire County Council, not just the financial help but the business support and advice which has been second to none. We have also had unbelieve support from Lancaster University.

“I don’t know if the company would have received the amount of support it has if we were based outside Lancashire.”