Manufacturer boosts PPE supply with £2.4m cash injection

One of the last cold-forging manufacturers of male threaded fasteners in the UK has imported and supplied five million units of personal protection equipment (PPE) to customers after securing a £2.4m finance package.

Forward Industrial, based in Birmingham, globally sources, manufactures and supplies fastener components and PPE to manufacturers in key sectors such as automotive, aerospace, telecommunications and healthcare.

The business has used the funding to maintain supplier payments and support cashflow during the coronavirus crisis, as well as to help purchase higher volumes of PPE from its suppliers.

Since the start of the pandemic, Forward Industrial has seen a 80% increase in demand for its PPE supplies and has worked with its suppliers across China, India and Taiwan to supply four million civilian-use face masks to customers across the UK and Europe as they return to work.

As a supplier to hospital procurement sites across the UK, the business also completed an order to supply the NHS with one million face visors during the peak of the pandemic in the UK.

Almost £1m of the funding package from HSBC UK was allocated through the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Martyn Cleaver, owner of Forward Industrial, said: “As a large importer and supplier to the UK and European manufacturing markets, we have developed excellent relationships with our suppliers across Asia. Thanks to our Relationship Director at HSBC UK, Dave Arthur, we were able to call on our suppliers at what was and still is an uncertain time to increase imports of critical PPE and provide our customers and the NHS with extra protection.”

Suzy Verma, HSBC UK West Midlands area director, added: “We’re committed to supporting our customers during this period of uncertainty. As a city, Birmingham has such great industrial heritage and is a leading centre of manufacturing trade. We’re delighted to support Forward Industrial, one of the city’s great manufacturers, as it looks to meet increased demand for its products.”