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Case Study: Control House

Published: January 2014

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Left to right: Margaret Ferris, Non Executive Director at Control House, Katherine Braim, Finance Yorkshire, Claire Summerskill, Director at Control House, Paul Summerskill, Director at Control House

It began life in the home of founder and director Paul Summerskill, and 10 years on Control House counts Airbus and London’s Olympic Park among its customer base. When it became clear that investment was needed for growth and working capital, the company approached Finance Yorkshire to help take it into its second decade.

 The Company

Control House was established by Paul Summerskill in 2003 as a high-tech manufacturing company specialising in all aspects of electrical control systems. Alongside the Olympic Park, projects include Europe’s largest plastic bottle recycling plant in Lincolnshire, a nuclear power station waste retrievals system, a funicular railway in South Korea, and test rigs for the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Control House also has customers in the Oil & Gas industry, Animatronics and a host of other sectors.

The Challenge

It had become clear that if the business was to enjoy strategic long-term growth, significant investment was required in capital equipment, including internal systems and software. Also essential was the recruitment of second-tier management to relieve the inevitable ‘bottle-neck’ which would build up around Paul Summerskill.

The Solution

A £200,000 Equity Linked investment from Finance Yorkshire is being used for growth and working capital. Control House has already recruited three new employees including a senior controls manager, in addition to upgrading capital equipment. A new mobile-enabled website launches this month, featuring a raft of new content. Due to the impact that the investment has had on Control House, they are currently recruiting for further roles.  Finance Yorkshire introduced financial advisor and business strategist Margaret Ferris to Control House who has since become a Non-Executive Director of the business. 

The Investment Rationale

Katharine Braim, Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager said: “Control House is an established business with an excellent reputation in a niche market. It has positioned itself as flexible but competitive against other players in the sector, led by an experienced team who understand both the operational and technical requirements of their customers. Control House is exactly the type of business the Fund should be looking to invest in, based on their story so far and the future growth aspirations for the business.

Future Expectations

Founder and Director of Control House, Paul Summerskill, said: “This investment is a fantastic 10th birthday present for the business, and will open up so many opportunities for us. Our new staff will play a crucial role in growing the business strategically; working towards higher volume work, focusing on customer service and ultimately building the foundations for long-term success.”

Katherine Braim added: “The addition of a second tier management team will no doubt make a huge difference to the business, enabling it to explore additional markets and services with cutting-edge technology.”

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

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