Northern Powerhouse investment means more jobs at Stone UK
Lancashire-based Stone UK, a specialist supplier of newly quarried and reclaimed natural English stone for building and paving, has received £100,000 follow-on investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).
NPIF is an initiative launched by the government-owned British Business Bank, 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 and the European Investment Bank.
NPIF is a key part of the government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ plan to increase prosperity in the North of England. It aims to achieve that by providing finance to support small and medium sized businesses through the NPIF. The British Business Bank operates through intermediaries, and in the case of Stone UK that was NPIF–FW Capital Debt Finance, which is managed by FW Capital.
Stone UK, in Preston, has worked with many high-profile clients, including providing reclaimed Yorkstone for both the Sandringham Estate and Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
Stone UK will use the NPIF–FW Capital funding to support ongoing growth, including new product lines and the creation of four new jobs.
The investment is the second round of FW Capital funding for Stone UK. It follows on from a £250,000 loan in 2017. The deal was facilitated by FW Capital Portfolio Executive Alistair Igo, who says: “Stone UK is a long-established business with an impressive turnover and client list and an unparalleled reputation for quality. Since our first investment in the business in 2017, Stone UK has continued to go from strength-to-strength. We are delighted to have been able to offer this follow-on funding to continue to support Stone UK’s growth ambitions and create new jobs.”
David Evans, Stone UK Director, says: “Our team of skilled stonemasons use their expertise to create a wide range of stunning, timeless pieces. We love seeing the visual impact our stonework can have on a building project and are proud to be able to offer a natural material that stands the test of time.
“The funding from NPIF-FW Capital will allow us to create four new jobs and continue to grow our business. We have found NPIF-FW Capital to be an extremely helpful funding partner, with a straightforward and efficient process in place to help us get the investment we need. We are really grateful for the support we received.”
Sean Hutchinson at the British Business Bank, says: “We are pleased to see NPIF continuing to support business communities in the North with vital funding. This latest round of investment will make a measurable impact to Stone UK’s services, helping to grow the team and meet market demand. Supporting ambitious growing businesses like Stone UK with the correct financial support is key to bringing economic growth across the region.”
Debbie Francis, OBE, who chairs the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, a collaboration of businesses, universities and local authorities aiming to direct economic growth and create jobs in Lancashire, comments: "It’s fantastic to see another Lancashire-based company will be able to realise its growth goals and create more jobs in the region thanks to the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. Stone UK is a successful business with an impressive client list and high-quality product sourced from our stunning Lancashire landscape. I wish them the best of luck with the next stage of their growth plans.”
FW Capital provides loans of between £100,000 and £750,000 to businesses based in the Northern Powerhouse region, with a focus on the North West, Cumbria and Tees Valley.