£250k loan to fuel growth for digital advertiser

A Birmingham digital advertiser has secured a £250,000 loan from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) to support its expansion.

The funding which is provided by The FSE Group, Debt Finance Fund and backed by the Recovery Loan Scheme will facilitate the design and build of two new digital screens and create six jobs.

Engage Outdoor Media provides advertising space on large scale digital screens in areas of high road traffic. It finds locations for the screens, negotiates long-term leases and obtains planning permission.

The MEIF loan will fund the build of two new screens in Birmingham and Leeds, and create jobs in finance and sales to support the increase in work volume.

Ian Bullingham, founder and MD of Engage, commented: “I started Engage Outdoor Media in late 2018 to create a more dynamic and flexible digital OOH offering and we quickly completed the installation of our first three roadside screens. The pandemic hit our market hard, however, we overcame the challenges and have now built 15 new digital advertising billboards across the Midlands and the North.

“Our FSE investment manager’s thoughtful, caring and thorough approach exceeded my expectations; we will continue to work with her for additional funding later this year.”

Growth was stalled in the ‘out of home’ advertising industry during the pandemic, but Engage says this has now picked up again.

The Advertising Association has forecasted ‘out of home’ advertising to grow by almost a third this year.

Kerry Haughton, Investment Manager for The FSE Group, appointed fund manager for MEIF Debt Finance Fund, added: “Engage Outdoor Media has developed a strong base with regular clients and referrals, and an established relationship with Birmingham’s premium advertising agency.

“They are increasing their ability to provide the sites required by the growing digital advertising market and through strategic use of owned and leased sites they are spreading risk and increasing revenue. This, together with a strong and dedicated MD, positions the company for future growth.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.