A Wellingborough-based paper honeycomb board manufacturer has secured £750,000 to expand its product range, create jobs and enter new markets.
The Alternative Pallet Company Ltd who trade as PALLITE® received funding from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) provided by The FSE Group Debt Finance Fund and backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The MEIF funding will help to create 15 new jobs in the next year, with the ability to offer apprenticeships to the under-25s.
The investment will also allow the business to expand its product offering with the creation of a new furniture range - following on from its pop-up desk success. The business is also looking at entering new markets in the high-value fashion and fragile goods sectors, as well as expanding into Europe and North America.
PALLITE ® is an award-winning international designer and manufacturer of paper honeycomb board products made from over 80% recycled materials. The 100% recyclable products aim to empower customers to make sustainable choices while still achieving efficiency, productivity, and bottom-line cost improvements.
Iain Hulmes, CEO of The Alternative Pallet Company, said: “All of our products are designed in-house and are both nail and splinter free and exempt from heat treatment legislation for exported products. Although we started out as a pallet business, we listened to our customers and further developed the PALLITE® range to include collapsible pallet boxes, insulated pallet boxes, layer boards and pallet feet. The FSE Group guided us through the funding process and we appreciate their help to achieve our growth ambitions.”
Ann Marie McFadyen, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the MEIF Debt Finance Fund, adds: “PALLITE® has an established product range demonstrating commercial traction with a large customer base. The UK transport sector produces over 25% of greenhouse gas emissions so it is great that Iain and his team are creating environmentally friendly products that will help reduce these emissions. It is encouraging to see the business enter new markets and we look forward to this next exciting stage of their journey.”
Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “The MEIF is committed to supporting businesses who are driving the Midlands’ net-zero agenda through innovation. This latest round of funding will help PALLITE® expand its 100% recyclable product offering, create jobs and break into new markets. We encourage other businesses, across the region, seeking to expand and grow to consider MEIF funding.”
Vicky Hlomuka, SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Manager, commented: “PALLITE® is a perfect example of how a business can innovate to develop more sustainable products that not only benefit the environment, but increase customer satisfaction. It’s fantastic to see the Midlands Engine Investment Fund investing in yet another Northamptonshire based businesses to create more jobs and enabling PALLITE® to continue to develop unique product solutions in the packaging and logistics industries.”
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 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
The FSE Group, MEIF Debt Finance Fund provides loans between £100,000 and £1.5million to help growing SMEs across the region.