Loan safeguards jobs at copper distributor

The UK’s only distributor of phosphor copper has secured a £150,000 funding boost.

Ashcroft Metals & Alloys, based in Lichfield and run by directors Darren Jewkes and Jonathan Marklew, will use the investment to support its cash flow and safeguard jobs during the interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ashcroft Metals & Alloys imports phosphor copper into the UK every month, which is then stored in a bonded warehouse before being distributed to a number of manufacturers across the UK.

Phosphor copper is generally used as an additive in the manufacturing process of goods such as brass and copper tube, which is commonly used in the plumbing industry.

The company secured the finance from alternative business lender BCRS Business Loans through a Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) loan backed by Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Marklew said: “Securing this funding boost from BCRS has really helped us relieve the pressure following what has been a very difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are now in a much better position to build our business turnover back up to pre-coronavirus levels and we anticipate this will take roughly six to 12 months.

“By supporting our cash flow, making our business leaner and maintaining strong relationships with our customers and suppliers we are ready to make the most of new opportunities that arise in the coming months.”

Stephen Deakin, chief executive of BCRS Business Loans, said: “We are delighted to have supported Ashcroft Metals and Alloys which, like most businesses, has had to adapt to the changing trading environment due to COVID-19.

“Both Darren and Jonathan are incredibly experienced in their industry and the firm’s offering is essential for manufacturing processes across the country. As a lender dedicated to social and economic impact, this finance will help ease the firm’s cash flow and safeguard jobs. We believe that no viable business should go unsupported.”