Six-figure boost for Tees energy storage specialist

An enterprise venture has completed a £400,000 investment in a Teesside-based energy storage firm.

NPIF – Enterprise Ventures Equity Finance, an NPIF product fund managed by Enterprise Ventures, has completed the deal with CRESS Systems, an energy storage provider for industrial energy efficiency.

The deal marks the first equity investment in the Tees Valley region from NPIF and is part of a £523,000 funding round from NPIF and business angel investors.

CRESS Systems designs and manufactures energy storage systems for industrial applications.

The systems can be used to recycle wasted energy from large industrial equipment and provide load balancing between industrial consumers and the grid.

The company is focusing its attention on the container ports market where the CRESS product can recycle wasted energy on large container handling equipment, which can lead to potential savings at a typical port of £1m per annum.

The funds will be used to take the product into production and enable the company’s first sales to leading shipping port customers.

The investment will also provide a boost to employment in the North East with CRESS opening new premises in Darlington, and it plans to hire several engineering staff and award contracts to engineering businesses in the region.

Cress CEO Richard Bradshaw said: “The Tees region provides us with access to highly qualified engineering staff and a range of suppliers with world class expertise in high speed rotating machinery and composite materials.

“Several of our existing suppliers are based in the region and this investment is allowing us to move some overseas suppliers back onshore.

“This investment led by Enterprise Ventures is helping us grow the company into a leading provider of energy storage solutions to the worldwide market.”

Simon Crabtree, investment manager at Enterprise Ventures, part of Mercia Technologies, said: “CRESS is the first of many high technology firms that we are looking to fund in the Tees Valley region via NPIF – Enterprise Ventures Equity Finance, allowing us to leverage the area’s world class access to engineering and manufacturing support.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: “This investment is great news for a growing Teesside business. They have chosen our area because we have the skills and the engineering supply chain to meet their needs.

“The fact the first equity investment in our area from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is in a technical company working to improve energy efficiency in international trade not only speaks volumes about the economic strengths of Tees Valley, but also highlights the global opportunities that will define our future economic success.”

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.

• Pictured above (left to right): Richard Bradshaw, chief executive of CRESS, Simon Crabtree, investment manager at Enterprise Ventures, Mark Wilcockson, NPIF and chair of CRESS Beverley Gower-Jones.


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