Seedcorn Fund Case Study
Carlton Manufacturing is a developer and manufacturer of sustainable construction materials.
The Wakefield-based company produces a range of sustainable cements, mortars and concretes for construction and DIY sectors that contain a high proportion of locally sourced waste materials rather than freshly quarried new material.
Entrepreneur Max Smith founded the company in 2011, together with brother Guy and financial director Chris Blaxall.
An experienced helicopter pilot, Max, realized his business idea had wings when he was flying over East Yorkshire. At 3,000ft above ground, Max said he was amazed to see the amount of potentially useful waste material stockpiled in the region. He recognized this could provide a steady supply of raw material for his innovative building products.
Max, who has an engineering background, said: “I established Carlton to develop, manufacture and market the innovative, eco-friendly building materials that the cement, concrete and building industries are looking for to meet their sustainability objectives.
“The majority of materials used to make cement and concrete are quarried raw materials – but instead we are able to replace some of these with recycled waste materials without compromising on product performance or increasing cost.”
Carlton Manufacturing cemented its future with a £400,000 Seedcorn investment from Finance Yorkshire. The company moved to its new 17,000 sq ft premises on Newmillerdam Business Park in April and has expanded its workforce as a direct result of the investment.
The Investment Rationale
Heather Roxborough, Finance Yorkshire Investment manager, said: “We recognised that Carlton has developed a suite of innovative, sustainable, cement and concrete products that have similar, if not better, performance than traditional products but are still competitive on price.
“We were delighted to be able to provide the finance required to help Carlton set up their manufacturing facility in Wakefield and bring their first products to market. Importantly, the investment will also be used to help commercialise the other sustainable building products that Carlton currently has in development.”
Chris Blaxall, financial director at Carlton Manufacturing, added: “Our vision now is to build a sustainable future. We want to get the Wakefield site up to full capacity by the end of the year and to continue to expand our product range.
“The market for sustainable building materials and products is growing rapidly and we’re currently developing new products that we know this market needs.
“Because we’re relatively small compared to the market leaders, we are able to work alongside partners to co-develop the sustainable building products that they’re looking for, but quickly and cost-effectively. We find that this partnering approach is working well and companies are now knocking on our door.”
Note: this case study is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire