Billingham-based water and wastewater treatment specialist Biochemica has received a six-figure investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).
Biochemica Water, established by Teesside-born David Ruddy and his business partner Dr Timothy Robinson, provides legionella control, boiler and cooling water treatment and wastewater treatment services and associated products and is planning on expanding its business even further.
The company, which is over 10 years old, provides services to some of the UK’s leading companies. It currently has annual turnover of £7m and employs over 80 staff.
Biochemica Water recently acquired a small competitor in Scotland – Effective Project Management – and has also launched in Northern Ireland – Biochemica Water NI.
The NPIF investment will provide growth capital for the expansion and the appointment of key personnel, including a new head of sales.
Steve Teasdale, investment executive at FW Capital, said: “Biochemica is an established business with a strong blue chip customer base.
“Its sales forecasts clearly show sustainable profitability and cash generation. We are delighted to have been able to provide this funding and are confident in its ongoing expansion.”
John Fraser, Biochemica managing director, said: “We’re very grateful to FW Capital for their support.
“The funding will allow us to continue to fulfil our growth ambition, which is to increase employees, premises and customers.”
Tees mayor Ben Houchen said: “Biochemica is a great example of a Tees Valley company that’s expanding across the country and setting its sights internationally.
“Our region has an enviable worldwide reputation as a centre of excellence for the chemicals sector, and it’s great to see Biochemica being part of this.
“Last year I visited Biochemica’s Billingham facility and saw first-hand what John and his team have achieved.
“This investment means that the company can continue to grow, and I look forward to seeing them go from strength to strength.”
Mark Wilcockson, senior manager at British Business Bank, said: “Historically, funding options for businesses in the North have been scarce, which has stifled growth and innovation in the region.
“NPIF is making real strides in reducing the regional funding gap between the North and the South, providing a variety of finance solutions that help businesses in the North realise their growth ambitions.”
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 ten 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: Biochemica managing director John Fraser, NPIF UK network senior manager Mark Wilcockson and FW Capital investment executive Steve Teasdale.