North East engineering expertise is set to drive growth at a successful regional power generation business as it looks to expand the range of consultancy work it undertakes in global markets.
Royston Power Generation sells, installs, maintains, services and repairs diesel engines for a wide range of domestic and overseas blue chip clients in the marine, offshore, utility and defence sectors.
As part of the next stage of its development, the Newcastle-based firm is aiming to use a £400,000 investment from the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund to build its advisory and consultancy work with clients around the world, as well as to add new power generation systems and equipment to its product range.
As well as assessing the power generation systems that have long formed the core of its business, the Royston team is now equipped to take a holistic view of how energy is used in every part of a client’s vessel, and makes recommendations on how efficiencies can be improved as well as identifying and remedying any faults.
The Growth Fund investment has been secured with the help of regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, and represents the latest stage of a relationship between the two firms that goes back almost a decade.
NEL initially provided funding for various capital projects that Royston was undertaking in 2007, before subsequently supporting the successful development, launch and roll-out into global markets of Royston’s enginei fuel and engine monitoring system through investments in 2009 and 2011.
Founded more than three decades ago, Royston Power Generation employs around 70 people, most of whom are based at its Walker Riverside headquarters.
It recently received a £1.5m grant from the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK for the Managing Energy on Marine Vessels project, which is being conducted in collaboration with Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science and Technology.
The firm is currently considering options for possible new premises into which it can grow, and is hoping to see new North East jobs created as a result of growing its consultancy work.
Lawrence Brown, managing director at Royston, says: “While we’ve not been immune to the struggles of the offshore industry over the last couple of years, we’re continuing to grow and have the all-round expertise required to both develop engine systems and optimise the overall use of energy on our clients’ various vessels.
“We aim to carry out a detailed survey of energy flow on a given vessel, with sensor based technology and provide graphical representations of the energy architecture to highlight where operations could be improved by working differently or more efficiently.
“The expertise our team offers is needed by companies right around the world, and we see many opportunities to open new income streams by creating the business structures required to promote and sell it globally.
“We’ve had a strong, open and rewarding relationship with NEL over many years. The team has seen the importance of providing North East businesses with the resources they need to grow globally, and their support has been crucial in enabling to make the most of the commercial opportunities we’ve created.”
David Thomas, investment manager at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Royston has reaped the rewards of accessing investment capital at various key points in its development over the years, and they presented us with a strong business case for this latest cash injection.”
Established by holding fund manager North East Finance (NEF) in 2010, the £159.5m Finance for Business North East (FBNE) programme is a suite of seven venture capital and loan funds which provide investment for start-up and growing businesses in the North East of England. They will continue investing until 2016, and aim to support 950 companies and to create or safeguard almost 10,000 jobs.
A new £4m extension to the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund has recently been confirmed, and NEL is actively looking to speak to more North East businesses about securing investment from it to help them put development plans into action.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.