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North East Fund Investment Sparks Expansion Plans For Environmental Services Firm

Posted on 09 May 2023

North East Fund Investment Sparks Expansion Plans For Environmental Services Firm

A six-figure investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund is set to help a North East drainage specialist quadruple its turnover in the next four years by extending the use of its bespoke pipe-cleaning technology.

Green Spark Utility Services provides a range of solutions to clients’ environment challenges, preventing pollution issues arising on their sites and helping to ensure compliance with their environmental and regulatory responsibilities.

The Team Valley-based business has developed its own patented Typhoon pipe-cleaning technology, and after working with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to bring in the £250,000 investment, it is now looking to apply it more widely with more and bigger clients.  

Around 15 new jobs are expected to be created as the business grows, with its initial ambition being to double its turnover through the next two years before doing the same again over the following two.

It is also aiming to bring in a greater proportion of new contracts from outside the region, as well as building its work with local authorities across the UK, and is looking at options for breaking into the US market in the medium term.

Bought by the present management team at the end of 2019, Green Spark Utility already works with a range of well-known businesses, including Northumbrian Water, Esh Construction and the Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.

Chris Harrison, director at Green Spark Utility Services, says: “Businesses managing heavy industrial operations, such as petro-chemical plants, construction sites and factories, needs to stay well ahead of their environment and regulatory responsibilities.

“The technology we’ve developed and services we offer allow us to quickly resolve environmental and drainage problems on such sites and put strategies in place for ensuring that they don’t arise in the first place.

“We set ourselves apart by the outstanding levels of service we provide, our absolute commitment to safety standards and the practical knowledge of our expert team, and we’ve seen the business performing strongly over the last three years as a result.

“Bringing in these extra resources will allow us to target the larger commercial opportunities we know are out there and we’re confident that the ambitious growth targets we’ve set ourselves are very much in reach.

“The local knowledge and job creation ambitions of the NEL team were an important part of the investment process.  They made it clear that they wanted to work with us and were very engaged right from the start.”

Jane Siddle, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “The Green Spark management team has already built an impressive operation, and now has the resources required to match their ambition to do much, much more with it.”

NEL Fund Managers has been accredited under the Recovery Loan Scheme by the British Business Bank to provide loans of between £25,001 and £250,000 to regional firms as part of its wider investment offering of up to £500,000.

The North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.

The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

NEL Fund Managers is also responsible for managing the £9m North East Small Loan Fund, which typically offers loans of up to £100,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.

For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.