Loan and fire brigade contract fuels new jobs for Tees mechanical firm

Darren Richards, head of assets at Cleveland Fire Brigade, Dave Hawkins of FW Capital, Heather and John Heward of JH Mechanical and Lee Woodall of Cleveland Fire Brigade at their headquarters in Hartlepool.

A Tees mechanical and electrical firm says it’s creating jobs after winning a new contract with Cleveland Fire Brigade – and getting crucial financial support.

Stockton-based JH Mechanical Services has received a six-figure NPIF loan backed by CBILS from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

A family-run business, JH Mechanical specialises in mechanical, electrical and water management services and will use the funding to develop its workforce.

Two new apprentices are set to be employed, whilst apprentices already at the business are set to be brought back from furlough on a part-time basis to ensure they have enough time to achieve their qualifications this year.

The investment follows a recent announcement by JH to create a further five new jobs after securing a fixed-term contract with Cleveland Fire Brigade.

The project will see JH Mechanical undertake the mechanical and electrical maintenance of all the brigade’s buildings and estates for the next five years.

JH Mechanical received an initial investment of £250,000 through FW Capital in March 2019 to support ongoing growth and reached a turnover of £1.75m in the last financial year.

Dave Hawkins, FW Capital portfolio executive, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to support JH Mechanical during these uncertain times.

“The business has demonstrated good growth with a number of high quality contracts secured in the last 18 months.

“This funding enables JH to service client needs and continue to develop their workforce through apprenticeships.

“The CBILS funds allow us to do everything we can to assist businesses and to create and safeguard jobs for our region.”

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses that are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cash flow.

Heather Heward, financial director at JH Mechanical, said: “FW Capital is a supportive long-term growth partner and is always ready to go the extra mile for us.

“We’re grateful for this funding which has allowed us to continue our growth plan and secure future careers.”

Mark Wilcockson, senior manager at British Business Bank, said: “NPIF continues to provide vital funding to Northern businesses across the region.

“We are pleased to continue this support, and are proud to work in partnership with FW Capital and our other appointed fund managers to make a real impact on business communities, creating jobs and strengthening regional economies to unlock the North’s potential.”

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.

Delivered by the British Business Bank, via NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, CBILS will support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS).

  • Pictured above: JH Mechanical’s Heather Heward with (left to right) Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Darren Richards, FW Capital’s Dave Hawkins, John Heward from JH Mechanical and Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Lee Woodall.