NPIF Equity

Product designers raise £750k to meet growing demand for prototypes

A product design company that works with many leading consumer brands has raised £750,000 from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

AME Group will use the funds to create ten jobs and invest in new equipment to support its growth. As one of the UK’s leading independent product development consultancies, AME works with brands such as Hornby Railways, Vax, Jaguar, Smith & Nephew medical equipment, Harris Brushes and B&Q Performance power tools.

In recent years, it has also experienced growing demand for its rapid prototyping service, ranging from the creation of one-off models for testing purposes to small-batch production of high-value products such as marine components and medical equipment. It now plans to expand its range of 3D print and low-volume production equipment. The company, which is based on the site of the former Dinnington Colliery in Sheffield, currently employs over 20 staff.

Founder Ian Jones, who is now the company’s Finance Director, said: “Technologies such as 3D printing have opened up new possibilities in product development  and testing. As a result, the rapid prototyping market is expanding year on year. This funding will allow the company to benefit from the post-Covid ‘bounce’ and the longer-term growth in demand.”

Maurice Disasi of Mercia added: “AME has performed strongly since its inception and established itself as one of the leaders in its field. As the company embarks on a new period of growth, this funding will enable it to take advantage of the exciting opportunities in the rapid prototyping market, widen its customer base and develop its own branded products.”

Sean Hutchinson of British Business Bank said: “AME is a growing Northern business working with a strong portfolio of respected brands across a range of sectors. NPIF is proud to play a part in helping businesses like AME reach the next stage in their growth journey. By investing in ambitious successful companies, we are helping to create new jobs, safeguard others and  support regional economic growth allowing  business communities to fulfill their potential.”

Lucy Holroyd of Schoffield Sweeney provided legal advice to AME on the investment. Caroline Walker and Gareth Saynor of CMS provided legal advice to Mercia.

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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