Rail security firm on track for growth with £125k funding

A Doncaster security company which helps to prevent suicides and vandalism at rail sites has received a £125,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Black Diamond Security monitors security at stations and other rail sites, helping to prevent trespassers and thefts and safeguarding rail infrastructure. The company, which deploys guards, cctv cameras and other high tech security systems, currently employs around 150 people around the UK and expects to create around 20 jobs in the coming months.

Black Diamond was established in 2010 by directors Martin Hawley and Ian Raeburn, who recognised the need for rail security through their experience working in rail electrification, construction and safety services. The company now monitors around 65 railway sites throughout the country.

It will use the funding to expand its stock of eco-friendly wireless cctv security towers. Powered by hydrogen fuel cells and utilising 3G/4G data, they can be used even on remote sites and rapidly deployed to monitor railway works or in response to incidents such as the Hatfield Colliery landslide in 2013.

Connor Dixon, the company’s Technology Operations Manager, said:

“Demand for our services is growing as a result of increased investment in railway infrastructure, the rise in the number of cable and equipment thefts and a greater focus on safety and suicide prevention. The funding will allow us to invest in equipment.”

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

“Through their previous experience of the rail industry, the team at Black Diamond fully understand the security challenges and have come up with a service offering that combines traditional dogs and guards with new technology to overcome them. They play a valuable role, not only in preventing thefts and vandalism but also in saving lives. The funding will help to support the continued growth of the business.”

Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said:

“Black Diamond Security has identified a number of new opportunities and we are pleased that NPIF is able to provide the investment that will support growth and create jobs”.

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.