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A coach and bus company that provides passenger services and holiday excursions has received a £180,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire.

Barnsley-based Globe Holidays runs public buses across West and South Yorkshire and employs more than 60 people.

The investment, from Finance Yorkshire’s Business Loan Fund, supports the acquisition of new vehicles and on-board ticketing technology.

Globe Holidays also operates private hire and school transport services, along with a UK holiday programme and day excursions. The company runs travel shops in Barnsley, Bradford and Rotherham.

Following the launch of several new routes this year, Globe Holidays has recruited 18 people and added 11 vehicles to its fleet. The company now operates 28 buses and 16 coaches.

Scott Woolley, managing director of Globe Holidays, said: “The investment from Finance Yorkshire comes at a time of rapid expansion for the business. They recognised our need for gap funding and quickly developed a good understanding of our business.

“The investment has enabled us to further expand our team and ensure reliable connections for local communities within South and West Yorkshire.

“As more people return to travel, we are looking forward to welcoming them on board our services, where they will now experience the latest in ticket machine technology.”

Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, said: “Our investments are designed to support growing companies to realise their potential and create jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber. This is especially true when traditional finance providers are unable to meet their requirements.

“As the travel industry continues to recover from the pandemic, we are looking forward to seeing Globe Holidays continue to cement its status as one of the region’s leading passenger transport providers.”

Finance Yorkshire’s Business Loan Fund is part of its wider regional business fund which is expected to provide more than £50m to SMEs over the next five years. Investment is also available from its Growth and Seedcorn Funds.

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A Nottinghamshire based outdoor clothing and equipment company has secured funding from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), provided by The FSE Group Debt Finance Fund and backed by the Recovery Loan Scheme.

The £1.5million investment from the MEIF will help create 16 new roles, fund seasonal stock purchase, product development in footwear and e-bike lines and enable the UK to take over the bike frame painting function from China.

Alpkit designs, manufactures and sells a range of specialist outdoor apparel, equipment and bicycles suitable for challenging environments and extreme activities at a significantly lower price point than large, high-end competitors. 

The company is also a certified B Corp, committed to the highest standards of social and environmental impact. The company’s registered charity, Alpkit Foundation, supports sustainability focused community projects.

David Hanney, Alpkit CEO, said: “With a buoyant outdoor market and strong brand positioning we have built a business with £12m+ turnover that has great potential for further growth. With challenging exchange markets and supply chain issues dominating trading conditions for many businesses in recent months, we are delighted to receive this MEIF funding, which gives us the ability to expand our employee base and seize the opportunities available to us.”

Chris Bailey, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, commented: “Alpkit’s  knowledgeable and experienced management team has established a strong revenue stream that is capable of further acceleration, thanks to a viable expansion strategy that includes increasing physical stores in the UK as well as their international online presence. Alpkit’s growth momentum has remained resilient, despite wider economic factors impacting businesses currently, and we are happy to be supporting them on their growth journey.”

Alpkit’s community focus and sustainability credentials reflect its culture and resonate with its customer base. It is well-positioned to take advantage of a booming outdoor market across camping, hiking, climbing, trail running, outdoor swimming and cycling and is estimated to be worth over £7.5bn in the UK alone.  

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Investment Manager at British Business Bank added: “The MEIF aims to finance innovative, sustainable and high growth oriented Midlands businesses that create a positive economic impact in the region. Alpkit’s success is a very good example of that, and showcases the benefits that SMEs in the Midlands have and can aim to achieve with MEIF funding.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2022 and the European Investment Bank. The FSE Group manages a section of MEIF that provides investments between £100,000 and £1.5 million to support growing SMEs across the region.

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Thousands of people living and working in rural Cornwall will get access to lightning-fast broadband after local supplier Wildanet was awarded £36 million from the government to roll out new connections.

Two contracts, part of the government’s nationwide £5 billion Project Gigabit to supply hard-to-reach areas with better broadband, have been awarded to the Liskeard-based supplier. It will see up to 19,250 homes and businesses in South West and Mid Cornwall connected.

Work will start today to survey rural homes and businesses from Newquay to Fowey. Building work to connect those in need to the fastest broadband on the market is set to begin as early as this summer.

Project Gigabit is the biggest broadband roll out in British history. It will help communities to seize the benefits of gigabit-capable networks and be ready for the future. It will allow users to work, stream and use multiple smart devices online without a battle against bandwidth and the disruption often experienced with ageing networks.

The investment in the region reflects the government’s commitment to roll out gigabit broadband nationally and will help to create a level playing field for hard-to-reach communities and businesses around the county, bringing with it economic, environmental and social benefits for local people.

As a result of these new contracts, Wildanet expects to create 200 jobs on top of the 150 the company has created in the area already. This will include a range of skilled roles across the build operation - including network design, surveying and partner management - plus engineering and head office roles. There will also be indirect opportunities for local companies such as civil contractors and through the supply chain.

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Julia Lopez, said:
"From Tintagel to Tredavoe, we are investing millions of pounds to connect almost 20,000 homes and businesses across Cornwall to lightning-fast broadband. This will generate growth and opportunity for people in the region’s rural communities.

“The move is part of the government’s flagship £5 billion Project Gigabit programme to spread fast, reliable and fit for the future broadband to rural and remote communities in the UK.”

Wildanet is already investing more than £50 million in an ultrafast broadband network across Cornwall and Devon - bringing fast, reliable internet to homes, businesses and communities. The new 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) network represents a significant technological leap for Cornwall. It is capable of speeds up to 100 times faster than the average internet speeds available in the county.

Wildanet’s Training Academy, and its well-established apprenticeship programme, will also continue to deliver skills to ensure that the jobs created through these contracts can be taken by people from the county.

Helen Wylde, Wildanet Chief Executive Officer said:
“This is great news for remote communities in Cornwall as we continue to connect Cornwall’s homes and businesses to full fibre broadband in non-urban areas, with the economic and social transformation that brings.

“The funding from the Government will help to breathe new life into Cornwall’s rural communities and give people access to the opportunities that gigabit broadband provides. It will also send out a positive signal to remote communities across the country who, to date, do not have the broadband connectivity to benefit from the digital age that many of us now take for granted in our daily lives.

“Wildanet undertakes to deliver on this project using the public funds provided through these awards as a key player for Cornwall, by Cornwall, and of Cornwall. We passionately believe that the funding provided by DCMS for these two vitally important infrastructure projects will assist Cornwall in growing its economy, connecting more people and businesses, and democratising digital services so that everyone can benefit from the opportunities that they present.”

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, Louis Gardner, said:
“We’ve been working closely with DCMS to progress these procurements and it’s good news that the two contracts have been awarded, bringing the benefits of access to ultrafast, full fibre broadband connections to more of Cornwall’s residents. This builds on the legacy of previous investments since 2011 through the Superfast Cornwall programmes, including existing 49% coverage of gigabit-capable full fibre, one of the highest in England for a rural county.”

For more information about this project and to find out if you are in an area that will benefit from this investment, please visit www.wildanet.com/projectgigabit

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Sustainable clothing care business, Clothes Doctor is the latest company to be supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF).

The Truro based business has secured a £500,000 CIOSIF equity investment, as part of a £1 million funding round led by appointed CIOSIF fund manager, The FSE Group.

The round includes investment from start-up accelerator Founders Factory, Childs Farm founder and CEO, Joanna Jensen, and new and existing private investors. The funding will be used to employ an additional 14 members of staff over the next three years.

Originally a service-focused clothing repair business, Clothes Doctor has evolved following high levels of demand, to create and supply eco-conscious laundry care products. Their premium detergents and other ranges are some of the very few products on the market that do not use palm oil or plastic and are plant/mineral derived.

The company’s eco-credentials make it an increasingly popular choice which is backed up by high quality ingredients and beautiful scents courtesy of pure essential oils. The laundry products, which come in distinctive recyclable aluminum bottles, are already sold across five continents and in stores such as Ocado, Harrods, Net-a-Porter and Whistles, and are often used as an alternative to expensive dry cleaning.

To continue their growth both in the UK and overseas, Clothes Doctor will hire new team members into their sales, operations, creative, workshop, PR & marketing, product development, finance and export teams. 

Lulu O’Connor, Founder at Clothes Doctor, commented: “Loving your clothes for longer is our company ethos. Our parents and grandparents knew how to care for their clothes and made them last so much longer than we do today. If people extended the life of their clothes by just nine months they would reduce the carbon, water and landfill footprint of their wardrobe by a staggering 30%. We are delighted to be developing our business so that more people are able to use our vegan products to wash, repair and care for clothes, in the hopes that an undeniable and long-term difference will be made to the sustainability of the fashion sector.”

Meg Salt, Investment Manager, Cornwall at The FSE Group, added: “The all-female team which heads up Clothes Doctor are experts in their field and are full of determination and enthusiasm for what they do. This shows not just in the quality of their product but in the growth they have achieved to date. The effect plastics and other products are having on our world means that there will always be a place for eco-friendly solutions and Lulu and her team are scaling up to ensure that their excellent products are part of the answer to the fast fashion crisis. We very much look forward to seeing where the future takes Clothes Doctor.”

Paul Jones, Senior Investment Manager from the British Business Bank, said: “We’re delighted to be investing in another sustainably-minded Cornish business and to have helped leverage significant additional funding to enable Clothes Doctor grow and create quality jobs in Cornwall.”

John Acornley, LEP non-executive director and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Clothes Doctor is all about bringing sustainability to the fashion industry by encouraging all of us to care for clothes for longer. The fund’s investment will help drive a larger audience for this ‘slow fashion’ revolution and we wish Lulu and the team well.”

The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2 
 

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Hayle based Triskel Marine, a world leading disruptive technology company in the marine industry sector, is the latest company to receive funding from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund.

The award-winning business, which trades as Integrel Solutions, completed a £3.2million funding round, which included £1 million from CIOSIF and matched funding from private investors in the United States. The deal follows a £350,000 loan from CIOSIF earlier this year.

The funding will be used to drive the growth of the business internationally, in addition to creating eight new positions from their base in Cornwall. It will also allow the completion of current R&D projects to introduce e-drive and torque boost technology to the Integrel product range.

Triskel Marine’s Integrel technology collects excess energy from a boat’s inboard engine that would otherwise go to waste, storing it in batteries for later use. This energy can then be used around the boat to power lights, ovens, air conditioning, refrigerators and water makers, reducing overall power consumption, lowering marina costs and negating the requirement for noisy generators.

The system is already popular with many of the top boating brands such as Balance Catamarans, Fountaine Pajot, Bali, Lagoon, Outremer and Gunboat, with over 140 vessels already carrying the technology. And it recently won an international DAME Design Award at the global METSTRADE trade show in Amsterdam, with the judges particularly noting the excellence of Integrel’s engineering.

Trevor Howard, Managing Director of Triskel Marine, commented: “Our goal is to become the go-to option for boat builders and owners who seek a lighter, quieter and more power efficient generation choice. We have already established strong relationships in the marine sector and we’ll be building on these in part by developing our technology for larger vessels, and move into e-drive and torque boost which will expand our market and give even more customers access to our innovative tech. This equity funding round is key as it will enable us to hire new local staff to develop our systems, support our clients and ultimately grow our business.”

Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds, Cornwall at The FSE Group, added: “Triskel Marine is an exciting business with healthy and consistent growth in an established yet developing sector. The marine industry is trying to collectively make greener choices and establish eco-conscious practices. Capturing waste energy is an excellent way to reduce energy production with the added benefit of being more cost-effective. Cornwall is a region that is renowned for its focus on climate and environmental issues and we are delighted to see a local green tech company becoming so prominent in its sector.”

Paul Jones, Senior Investment Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “Developing greener sources of power generation will be important for reducing the carbon footprint of the marine sector.  It is good to see CIOSIF investment being used to back this kind of innovation and we wish Triskel Marine every success for the future.  Triskel have been able to use the CIOSIF investment to unlock further overseas investment which is good both for them and the wider Cornish economy.”

John Acornley, LEP non-executive director and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, added: “Our region is renowned for its blue and green economy and in Triskel Marine we see the fusion of the two. Their innovative technology has huge potential to help decarbonise the boating industry.”

CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk  or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2