Brand performance agency secures £250k loan for growth

A Manchester-based brand performance agency has secured a £250,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), to support its future growth.

The funding will provide WilsonCooke with additional working capital to scale up its activities, support new contract wins and expand the team with the creation of two new jobs.

Established in 2003, WilsonCooke currently employs 21 staff and serves clients including, Kyocera, TENMAT, Garic, Clarity Travel Management, Swish Building Products, HD Sharman, Energas  and Restore Datashred. The company decided to rethink its strategy during the pandemic and, in December 2021, it set up GAIN LINE, a consultancy which helps businesses identify their challenges and optimise processes.

It is now looking to expand the group including the addition of other businesses, especially those which have developed their own technology or intellectual property and would complement its existing services. WilsonCooke is led by Mark Law, managing director, and fellow directors John Millington, Nicole Whittingham and Jonathan Whittingham.

Mark Law (pictured), group managing director, said: “The pandemic provided a great opportunity to step back and look at the bigger picture. We decided to restructure our business and rethink our strategy to focus on more specialist service lines. We went on to launch GAIN LINE last year and are now looking to add more via acquisitions that fit with our existing marketing offer.

“The new approach reflects the shift in demand we have seen in the past 12 months, as companies have become less concerned about tactical marketing and want more strategic input. We are now working with clients at a much higher level.”

David Wright of Mercia added: “WilsonCooke are an experienced team who have run a successful business for many years. Faced with the challenge of the pandemic, they used it as an opportunity to reinvent their business model and even managed to put aside funding for acquisitions. The loan will give them additional capital to pursue their growth strategy.”

Paul Williams of Hilton Smyth Commercial Finance Advisers provided fundraising advice to WilsonCooke.

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.