£500k Northern Powerhouse loan helps engineers fulfil a tall order!

A Yorkshire company which specialises in installing telephone masts has secured £500,000 funding from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

The loan will allow Doncaster-based 8point8 Support to fulfil a major new contract in Netherlands and create 10 new jobs. The company, which currently employs around 200 people, is a leader in the structural installation of masts and aerials as well as the maintenance and upgrading of the telecommunications network with clients including Nokia, Ericsson, Telefonica and BBC World Service. It erects towers and other structures for sectors ranging from renewable energy to rail and civil engineering.

Founded in 2010 by Martin Debnam and Karl Hampson, who both have a background in the industry, the firm offers a complete end to end service from consultancy and planning to design and construction management services. The funding follows its success in winning a contract to install four masts on behalf of a Netherlands-based multinational.

Keith Summerill, Finance Director, said: “Training is key to 8point8’s success. The company has its own training school to ensure all staff achieve the highest level of expertise and safety, and work is completed to the highest standard. We are also now putting the final touches to the industry’s only Apprenticeship Scheme qualification.”

Peter Sorsby, Investment Manager with Mercia Fund Managers, said:

“8point8’s skilled engineers have built a strong reputation for their specialist service and now work for many of the major telecoms companies and broadcasters. The company is increasingly winning work from overseas and this latest contract win is a major achievement. The funding will provide additional working capital to enable it to hire additional staff and complete the project.”

Grant Peggie, Director, British Business Bank, said:

“The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is pleased to provide funding to 8point8 Support as it looks to strengthen its share of the market. It is positive to see new jobs being created and the company is well placed to secure even bigger projects as a result of this new investment both in the UK and in Europe,

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.