Clean Sweep tidies away six-figure NEL investment to support service expansion

Uploaded by in Recent Investments, Small Loan Fund on December 8, 2023

A longstanding Gateshead-based industrial cleaning firm is looking to sweep aside the competition with the help of a six-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund.

Clean Sweep provides cleaning and environmental management services for clients across the UK in a wide range of industries, including hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, residential property and power generation.

It has developed a particular focus on using sustainable cleaning methods and products, in order to reduce the impact of its work on the sensitive environments in which it often operates.

The directors have now worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to bring in a six-figure investment, which will support the development of further new services and the fulfilment of several new contracts that are currently in the pipeline.

This includes expanding its eco-friendly wet blasting services, which remove markings from road surfaces by using high-pressure jets containing nutshells and ground glass, rather than creating poisonous gases by burning them off, as has been the traditional method up to now.

Two new jobs are expected to be created before the end of the year, with more to follow as the business grows.

Founded 22 years ago and run by father and son team Alan and Kai Kristiansen, Clean Sweep originally provided extraction ducting cleaning services for the hotel industry, and still includes the Copthorne and Marriott hotel chains in its client base.

Further services have been progressively added, including testing and servicing passive fire protection systems, cleaning hospital air conditioning systems, external render cleaning, site decontamination services and roof and gutter cleaning.

Industrial drone technology is now available to clean at heights of up to 100m, inside internal ducting systems and even within water systems, while the company’s Eco-Seal technology can be used to quickly repair ducting leaks without the need for the whole thing to be dismantled.

Kai Kristiansen says: “Reducing the environmental impacts is a key priority for many public and private sector clients, and ensuring we’re responding to this need in delivering the essential services they need is central to our future growth strategy.

“Our eco-friendly wet blasting services provide an extremely visible example of how new ways of working can deliver the desired results, and with clients including Northumberland County Council and Gateshead Council already on board, it’s an area where we can see substantial growth potential going forward.

“With a number of substantial new contracts in the pipeline, it’s essential that we can recruit and train up the right calibre of staff to enable us to deliver what’s required, and NEL’s backing is central to growing our team as client demand requires.

“Their investment offering provided us with just the options we needed, with the detailed due diligence process that we’ve been through to secure it giving us great confidence that our growth plans are all they should be.”

Jonathan Armitage, Investment Executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Clean Sweep has achieved long-term sustainable success by providing new services that meet developing client needs, and it has robust plans in place to further accelerate this process.

“The team’s focus on sustainability and the environment matches also one of the North East Fund’s key investment priorities, and we’re very pleased to be working with them.”

Part of the £130m North East Fund, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of up to £100,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.

It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.

The overarching £130m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 2,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

NEL Fund Managers is also responsible for managing the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund, which offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.

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

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