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7th December 2023

NPIF – FW Capital achieve £17.5m funding milestone in Cheshire and Warrington


Northern Powerhouse Investment FundNPIF FW Capital Debt FinanceCheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership

Approaching £17.5m of investment has been provided to 50 growing businesses in the Cheshire and Warrington area by NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, which is managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

The investments have attracted co-investment of nearly £19.5m from the private sector resulting in an impact on businesses in the region of close to £37m.  This is supporting ambitious, high-growth businesses with finance for growth in an area of the UK that is typically underserved.

The loans delivered by FW Capital represent a huge milestone since the fund was first established in 2017.  This underlines FW Capital’s long-term economic impact in the region.

Carol Bolland, Investment Executive at FW Capital, said: “Achieving this funding milestone is testament to the strong businesses we have across Cheshire and Warrington and one great example of this is Warrington-based B-Engineering Group. Their growth story is impressive and demonstrates how the right investment make a real difference.”

With over 30 years’ experience B-Engineering Group is one of the leading M&E building services engineering providers in the North of England. They have received three rounds of funding from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance  which have supported B-engineering Group in diversifying to meet the changing needs of the mechanical services industry.

Today Rob Ditchfield runs the business with his wife Vicki and they employ 48 staff. Rob’s father Bernard Ditchfield established the business in 1991 with his former partner under the original business name BEmech. Recent developments include creating an electrical division in 2021 and B-eco Renewables in 2022 which has since delivered a number of solar projects up to 300KW and air source heat pump systems up to 250KW.

Vicki Ditchfield, Director at B-engineering Group said: “I joined the business in 2021 to support the business plans and strategic goals Rob had set. FW Capital first supported the growth of the business in 2017 with a £100,000 loan at a critical time to help the business achieve its targets, and we sought further funding in 2020 and 2021 to enable us to achieve the next stages of growth. Having the security of this funding enabled us to invest in systems, people and venture into new sectors which may not have been achievable without it. I have established a strong relationship with Carol Bolland at FW Capital and believe she genuinely cares about our journey.”

B-engineering Group has a rich history of growth following its creation in 1991. In 1997, Rob Ditchfield joined the company as an apprentice pipefitter where he learnt his craft and developed a vision for where he wanted to take the business.  Rob worked alongside his father until 2006 when he temporarily left the business to further his industry experience and complete his degree level in building services engineering. In 2011 Rob returned when the business had 6 staff and an annual turnover of £180,000 and began to diversify the business to deliver large mechanical projects. By 2018 the business continued to grow and expanded to deliver service and maintenance of commercial gas appliances, mechanical plant and air conditioning and major mechanical projects – delivering projects of up to £2m.

In 2022, the business rebranded as B-engineering Group to incorporate the expanded service offerings – B-elec, B-eco, B-mech projects, B-rite Air conditioning, and B-mech service and maintenance. One area of focus for the business is advising and supporting clients with their carbon reduction goals. This forms part of its journey to become a B-Corp (this is companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability) and an ESG focused business.

Keira Shepperson. Director at British Business Bank, said: ““The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has been a vital source of finance for Cheshire and Warrington businesses,  supporting growth, innovation and job creation across the county.  The area is an increasingly appealing location for businesses and talent, fostering sustained economic development. It’s no wonder such high-tech and advanced businesses like B-engineering Group are able to thrive and serve as an example of the attractive investment opportunities to be made in the area.”

 NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance is managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. It can provide loans in the NPIF region with a focus on Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and the Tees Valley.

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.

FW Capital Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a small authorised UK Alternative Investment Fund Manager under firm reference number 506719.

Editors Notes


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