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Case Study: Centre Stage Uniforms

Published: May 2014

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Left to right- Robin Watson, Non Executive Director, Martin Gernon of Centre Stage Unifoms, Paul Gower of Finance Yorkshire, Andrew Jackson, Non Executive Finance Director.

Centre Stage Uniforms is a burgeoning young business established by brass band enthusiast Martin Gernon in 2009. An innate understanding of the financial constraints brass bands are under has seen Martin establish a business model which focuses on excellent quality and low cost sourcing from the Far East.

The Company

Based in Mytholmroyd, Centre Stage Uniforms was formed as a sideline business, but after securing a sizeable corporate contract in 2011, Martin Gernon decided to run the business full-time.

He said: “Uniforms are one of the biggest expenses and UK suppliers are expensive. I have spent years sourcing quality products in the Far East to offer UK bands a high quality product at overseas cost.”

The business evolved further in 2012 when Martin’s wife began a trading division within the company specialising in the manufacture and distribution of top-end wool, tweed and other fabric items, supplying around 150 retailers.

The Challenge

Having secured a high-profile client, and also keen to expand beyond the UK, Centre Stage Uniforms needed to invest in working capital and equipment to meet the demands of its growing customer base.

The Solution

A £275,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire’s Equity Linked Fund is enabling the business to expand internationally and attract new UK-based customers.

The Investment Rationale

Finance Yorkshire Investment Director Paul Gower said: “Centre Stage Uniforms has previously secured a Business Loan from Finance Yorkshire, and has grown sufficiently in both scale and ambition to take on equity investment.

“Attracting a significant customer, and meeting their high ethical and quality standards, shows the potential of the business.”

Future expectations

Martin Gernon said: “As a small, very young business we are delighted to have secured this Equity Linked investment from Finance Yorkshire. It will enable us to achieve our growth ambitions considerably sooner than would otherwise have been the case.”

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com  or call 0845 649 0000.

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