A North East Hazardous Area Inspection firm is continuing to break into new markets and win new clients around the world with the help of a second investment from the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund.
Cenelec Standards Inspections Ltd (CSI) helps companies operating in potentially explosive onshore and offshore environments, such as oil rigs and refineries, distilleries and chemical plants, to meet their extensive health and safety statutory obligations.
In 2012, CSI worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to obtain a £275,000 Growth Fund investment which helped them manage sustained growth whilst also developing a high quality CompEx training centre in Newcastle as an additional service.
Since then, CSI’s workforce has increased by around a third to 90 people, with a significant number based from the North East. The company carried out main core business services in 38 different countries in 2013 and is looking to sustain this upward trend.
To provide the resources needed to service this growing demand, CSI has now secured a further £300,000 from the Growth Fund, and is targeting the US, Canada and South Korea as areas in which to capitalise on new commercial opportunities.
Electrical and instrument inspections are carried out by CSI’s expert personnel using specialist hand-held equipment which enable compliance requirements to be quickly identified, reported and addressed, thus minimising any delays for client assets to benefit from corrective actions and therefore saving significant amounts of time and money.
In addition to new clients including Grey Wolf, Precision Drilling and Wintershall, the firm already works with a wide range of other blue chip companies, including BP, Centrica, ConocoPhillips, Diageo and RWE, and manages their clients’ compliance from its Newcastle headquarters.
Executive Director Jonathan Gibson says: “An expanding business is an exciting business however the most significant obstacle in looking to continuously improve a company is cash flow, and without NEL’s support, there is a reduction in the opportunities we have to develop new business.
“It is rewarding to see the company continue to expand into new continents, but adapting to alternative standards, directives and regulations that come with the global marketplace bring its challenges.
“Remaining comfortably operational with increasing debtor books as a company grows and instigating the necessary insurance debtor protection with new clients is a delicate process.
“The financial support mechanism that NEL offer through its stringent due diligence process enables the company to proceed with confidence to finance projects, which, through the nature of the services we provide, can be in some of the world’s most remote or potentially hostile environments, such as Egypt, Algeria and Iraq.”
Chris Parker, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “CSI has developed an enviable position in a lucrative market, and their ambition to make even more of this than they have already is very much to be admired.
“Making successive tranches of investment capital available to companies with developing needs is crucial to helping them fully realise their potential and create further wealth and employment in the North East.”
Aimed at regional businesses which are at a development and growth stage, the Growth Fund forms part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund.
Managed by North East Finance, it will see £125m of investment capital injected into the region by the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13 over a five year period.
NEL is looking to make around 130 investments over the five-year life span of the Growth Fund, and is actively looking to speak to ambitious north east companies with robust business plans.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0845 111 1850.
The ERDF 2007-13 programme is bringing over £300m into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the region’s productivity by £1.1bn per annum.