METALS SUPPLIER SECURES £200K NPIF FUNDING

A West Yorkshire metals supplier has secured £200,000 from NPIF - Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Hempel Firmus Metals, based in Dewsbury, stocks materials such as nickel alloys and titanium which are used in equipment for the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries. It supplies engineering businesses and fabrication workshops worldwide, with exports accounting for about 60 per cent of its sales.

Established more than ten ago, the company became part of the Swiss group Hempel in 2016. It has since increased turnover from £500,000 to £3m and is on course to achieve a further 20 per cent growth in the year ahead.

The funding, which comes after Hempel Firmus Metals failed to secure finance from the banks, will allow the business to further develop its coil and sheet processing facilities, diversify its stock and develop new markets. It will also support the creation of three jobs.

Ben Wood, general manager at Hempel Firmus Metals, said: "Our business is heavily reliant on finance, as we deal in expensive materials and need to keep sufficient stock to meet demand. We have been growing rapidly and had problems in securing the funding we need from conventional sources. The Mercia team quickly understood the problem and resolved the issue."

Jonathan Craig, investment manager with Mercia, added: "Hempel Firmus is a successful business but was unable to access the finance it required because of a funding gap within the market. As this case shows, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is playing an important role in helping companies to bridge that gap and support business growth and job creation in the region."