NPIF funding helps audio-visual firm to turn up the volume

A Hull company which specialises in high-end audio-visual systems and whose clients have included royals and celebrities has secured a £100,000 loan from NPIF – Enterprise Ventures Debt Finance to help fund its expansion. It is the first investment in Humber by the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

The investment follows a number of new contract wins at Electric String, which designs and installs bespoke systems for homes, corporate spaces and luxury yachts. The company now plans to expand its 17-strong team with the appointment of an engineer and business development manager.

Electric String was founded in 2010 by former super yacht electronics designers James Ward and James Symonds and in 2014 merged with RSAV Solutions, whose founder Robert Sullivan joined the team as Director.

Clients have included members of the royal family, former Olympic athlete Lord Sebastian Coe, high-profile companies such as champagne producer Moët and music website Shazam and local businesses such as Modal Training in Immingham. It is currently working on the new DoubleTree by Hilton in Hull and has also won a number of European contracts to install systems in luxury yachts.

Ian Atkinson, Investment Manager with Enterprise Ventures, part of Mercia Technologies PLC, said: “Electric String has established itself as a leader in commercial and high-end residential audio visual installations. As the company’s reputation has grown, it has extended its reach and is increasingly winning high-profile jobs in Europe. The funding will help support its expansion.”

Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said: “Electric String is a prime example of a company in the Northern Powerhouse that has utilised its expertise in a niche area to develop a strong reputation for a top end quality service. With a high-profile client base, the company is now one of the leading AV companies in the UK and continues to grow. This investment will allow James to strengthen his team, and we are excited to see what new and exciting projects Electric String will deliver with NPIF support.”

Phil Glover Programme Manager of the Humber LEP Growth Hub, said: “Following an initial Growth Hub meeting with James, I was delighted to be able to link him up with the funding opportunities provided by the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.”

Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP, said: “I am pleased to see the first of a pipeline of investments made into our Humber businesses, facilitated by the investment of some of our European funding into the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.  I would encourage other businesses to discuss with our Growth Hub advisors whether they could also benefit. “

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) 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.