NPIF Debt

Funding gives glass coatings firm a clear path to US market

24th June, 2021

A company which helps supermarkets cut carbon emissions by reducing energy use from freezer displays is expanding with the help of a £750,000 loan.

Protective Film Solutions has secured funding from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. The company, which specialises in glass coatings and window films, is a world leader in the installation of Clarifoil, an anti-fog film which helps to keep freezer doors clear to ensure customers can see inside. Currently, this is achieved by heating the trim of the doors, which substantially increases energy use.

Protective Film Solutions (PFS) has already installed the product in most Asda supermarkets in the UK and is currently undertaking a similar roll-out for Morrisons’ stores. The funding will allow it to expand its operation in the UK and create three new jobs in the year ahead. It is also targeting the vast US market and is carrying out pilot projects with major US chains to demonstrate the benefits.

PFS, which also installs a range of solar, protective, decorative and privacy films, was established in 2014 by Stephen Ball, who had worked in the glass coatings Industry for 40 years, and Mark Williams, a former ‘big four’ tax partner. It currently employs around 25 people at its headquarters within the  Nostell Priory Estate near Wakefield and its offices in High Wycombe.

Mark Williams, the company’s Chair, says: “Reducing costs and carbon emissions is a priority for the major supermarket chains, and freezer cabinets are a significant factor in energy use. A typical store can save 31,000 tonnes of carbon per year using Clarifoil. Given our track record carrying out installations for the big UK supermarkets, we are well placed to target the major US chains and are grateful to Mercia and NPIF for their support in helping us to do this.”

David Wright of Mercia adds: “PFS has built a global reputation for the successful delivery of complex multi-site projects for some of the world’s leading companies. This funding will enable it to expand its local workforce, build its market position in both the UK and tap into opportunities in the vast US market.”

Sean Hutchinson at British Business Bank said: “Investment into the low carbon and renewable energy economy is a priorty for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and Northern businesses such as PFS are leading the way when it comes to helping businesses meet sustainability targets. We’re pleased to support PFS on their growth journey, as they create new jobs and target the US market.”

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.

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