The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has facilitated £250,000 worth of debt funding to engineering firm ENEX Group, marking NPIF’s first investment in the region since it was launched earlier this year with support from the Tees Valley Combined Authority. The investment was made by NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, an NPIF product fund managed by FW Capital Limited.
Teesside-based ENEX designs, manufactures and supplies Mechanical Safety Interlocks and Process Safety Systems to the oil and gas industry. It has recently completed the development of a ‘Patent Pending’ ENEX i-LOCK product range with leading-edge safety features, providing a greater level of safety and reliability to other available mechanical interlocks. The investment will help the company formally launch this new product to the market and expand in the North East of England.
ENEX is also in the process of carrying out further developments on a series of other safety products to help clients overcome plant operational restrictions.
ENEX is led by managing director Wayne Hodgson and employs five staff. On the back of its planned growth, the funding will help the company create 16 new jobs in the Middlesbrough area over the next three years.
Keith Charlton, Investment Executive at NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, said: “ENEX is led by a fantastic team, with a great track record and is very experienced in pipeline operations and mechanical interlocks. Wayne has previously built-up businesses in this sector in both the UK and the Middle East. Through this he has established a strong network of contacts in key territories for the business. This will add tremendous value to the company’s development as it looks to target growth both in the UK and internationally.”
Wayne Hodgson, managing director at ENEX Group, added: “I am delighted to have completed a deal with Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund & FW Capital. After our initial internal investment of £1m during the R&D, design, testing and production set-up stages, we were introduced to the fund at a time when it was tricky to obtain traditional funding. We are now in a much stronger position with the £250,000 investment; providing working capital requirements to meet the demand from our global customers.
“The ENEX i-LOCK is the next generation of products and the industries safest. We made the decision to have complete production in the UK after initially investigating manufacturing in the Far East. Based on our extensive development and design innovation, we can manufacture quicker and cheaper here in the North East than overseas.”
“We are constantly developing new products to ensure we continue to be a major game changer in the global Mechanical Safety Interlocking Industry whilst maintaining our commitment to using local North East suppliers.”
Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said: “This first Teesside investment represents a significant milestone for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and demonstrates our commitment to support growing businesses in the Tees Valley.
“ENEX is precisely the type of company that we sought to help finance when we launched the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund in February. “
Paul Booth, chair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership and Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet Member, said: “This is fantastic news For ENEX Group and for the Tees Valley economy.
“This stream of funding can make a tangible difference to businesses, as is demonstrated by the growth in sales and job creation ENEX is expecting. I would encourage other companies to explore the opportunities the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund offers.”
Operating from the British Business Bank’s Sheffield head office, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides a mix of debt and equity funding (£25,000 to £2m). It works alongside 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the combined authorities and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to support Northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development.
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.
For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, please visit www.npif.co.uk.
Left to right: Wayne Hodgson, Manager Director of Enex Group, Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, Joanna Whitfield, FW Capital, Keith Charlton, FW Capital
FW Capital Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a small authorised UK Alternative Investment Fund Manager under firm reference number 506719