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18th February 2021

Camper van specialist secures growth funding from NPIF and BEF

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NPIF - BEF & FFE MicrofinanceYork and North YorkshireNorthern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Denson Automotive, a one-year-old camper conversion business based out of Thorp Arch Trading Estate, Wetherby, has achieved £1 million turnover in the 12 months since January 2020 and has secured a £100,000 loan from NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance backed by CBILS, managed by Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) & FFE and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund with an additional £100,000 invested directly by BEF.

The Wetherby-based company provides custom Volkswagen camper vans on a made to order basis. Denson Automotive camper vans designed to be distinctively different, to have superior kerb appeal and to be affordable. Each camper vans starts out as a Volkswagen van before being transformed into a bespoke design with full amenities including a kitchen and beds and by adding pop up tops, distinctive wheels, branded interiors and custom wrapped exteriors. Established in 2019 by Linden Kitson, an experienced businessman with a passion for cars the company employs five staff and plans to recruit three new staff.

“It has been a roller-coaster year for Denson” commented MD Linden Kitson, who became the majority 80% shareholder in the business last year, “We became FCA accredited in just 10 months, and we’re frequently receiving upwards of 15 enquiries a day from customers. Covid-19 has created both huge opportunities and of course, supply chain problems over the last 12 months. The pandemic has without doubt bolstered demand, but van life has been a growing trend over the last few years, with customers seeking freedom to roam the country and discover more than just what’s outside their all-inclusive hotel or Airbnb apartment.”

He continued: “We’re doing things differently, and I believe, better. Every Denson van is built to spec and has serious, superior kerb appeal. We want to give our customers – the #DensonTribe – an experience unlike they would get from any other conversion company – which means incredible quality and unrivalled aftersales – we travel to fix any issues and offer RAC backed-warrantees as standard.”

“Securing the combined £200,000 of loans from NPIF and BEF backed by CBILS is a huge coup for us – it allows us to use the BEF loan to repay an existing Bounce Back Loan, increase our inhouse conversion capacity and capability, and expand the existing workshop to meet strong demand. The aim is for Denson to become the go-to name for affordable, quality camper conversions with inimitable design, and we’ve already taken on three new team members who have the skills to do just that, including Norman Hill, who comes to us from 18 years at Volvo. The plan is to employ at least five more technicians over the coming 12 months.”

Mark Iley, Investment Manager at BEF commented: “Denson Automotive provide an excellent product and service to discerning clients. It has huge growth potential through increased sales. The funding will help the business to achieve this while improving efficiency and control.”

The Northern Powerhouse 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.

Business Enterprise Fund is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 726237)

Donbac Limited t/a Finance For Enterprise are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under FRN 718612. Information Commissioner Office Registered Z153621X

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