Specialist paint firm to launch eco-friendly product following six-figure investment

Tom Johnston and Laura Rees

A six-figure funding package will enable Cheshire-based Polar Specialist Coatings to launch a new eco-friendly bitumen paint product and expand the business.

NPIF-FW Capital Debt Finance, which is managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, has provided a six-figure funding facility.

Polar Specialist Coatings has a rich heritage in the British paint industry.

The company was launched in 2018 by the fifth generation of the Johnstone paints family. Now, brothers Tom and John Johnstone, are drawing on 130 years of paint manufacturing experience to deliver durable and high performance solutions that revive, protect and maintain homes.

The business operates from Winsford and first started selling its products on Amazon.

It recently announced partnerships with Selco Builders Warehouse to distribute its product range and has other retail partnerships soon to be announced.

Polar Specialist Coatings current range includes specialist paints and coatings, spray paints and sealers and cleaners for use by contractors and consumers for a wide range of applications.

Managing director, Tom Johnstone, said: “We’ve manufactured an innovative low solvent and odour-free bitumen paint that is compatible with most surfaces, is waterproof and rapid drying. It has a lower toxic risk than other products on the market because it has less than two per cent white spirit content versus 25% in the market. This is a game changer for the industry because we’ve created an eco-friendly alternative which continues to deliver high performance and durability.”

He added: “Our vision back in 2019 was to better educate and give confidence to those undertaking paint jobs and supply contractor quality paints and coatings.

“Today we’re proud to achieve this and develop innovative new products. FW Capital has offered great support and the investment is making a big difference to our product development and future growth plans.”

Laura Rees, senior investment executive at FW Capital, led the investment and was introduced to Tom Johnstone by Stephen Dinsmore at Armstrong Watson.

Laura Rees said: “Polar Specialist Coatings is a young and dynamic business run by an ambitious entrepreneur. Tom, alongside his brother John, is bringing to market an exciting new product which is eco-friendly and aligns with FW Capital’s purpose and values.

“Drawing on their extensive heritage from Johnstone Paints, Tom and John have established their own position in the industry as innovators bringing quality, high performing products that appeal to a broad range of commercial and consumer use.”

Stephen Dinsmore said: “Polar Specialist Coatings are an innovative and fast-growing business, with real expertise within their field and passion for their product.”

Keira Shepperson, director at the British Business Bank, said: “We’re thrilled to see the positive impact that investment can have on innovative and ambitious companies like Polar Specialist Coatings.

“The funding provided by the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will not only support the company’s growth and development, but also enable the launch of new and innovative products.”