£200k loan helps fast-growing metals firm to bridge the gap

A fast-growing specialist metals supplier has secured a £200,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Hempel Firmus Metals, which is based in Dewsbury, stocks materials such as nickel alloys and titanium which are used in equipment for the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries. The company supplies engineering firms and fabrication workshops worldwide, and exports account for around 60 per cent of its sales.

Established over 10 years ago, the company became part of the Swiss group Hempel in 2016. Since then it has increased turnover from £500,000 to £3m and is on course to achieve a further 20 per cent growth in the year ahead.

The funding, which comes after the business failed to secure finance from the banks, will allow the company to further develop its coil and sheet processing facilities, diversify its stock and develop new markets. It will also help create three new jobs.

Ben Wood, General Manager, said: “Our business is heavily reliant on finance, as we deal in expensive materials and need to keep sufficient stock to meet demand. We have been growing rapidly and had problems in securing the funding we need from conventional sources. The Mercia team quickly understood the problem and resolved the issue. “

Jonathan Craig, Investment Manager with Mercia, said: “Hempel Firmus is a successful business but was unable to access the finance it required because of a funding gap within the market. As this case shows, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is playing an important role in helping companies to bridge that gap and support business growth and job creation in the region.”

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.