Leeds company puts pedal to the metal for growth

Left to right: Silchrome Managing Director Austen Thwaite and Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager Grahame Lunt

A West Yorkshire company is showing its mettle with ambitious expansion plans thanks to an investment from Finance Yorkshire.

Leeds-based Silchrome Plating Ltd was established in 1949 and offers a wide range of metal finishes and treatment processes to a variety of industries including engineering, aerospace, defence, oil and gas and electronics.

Silchrome was acquired by Managing Director Austen Thwaite and Steve Hollis in 2008. They are now in a position to expand the business and having approached Finance Yorkshire they were successful in obtaining a loan for £60,000 which will be used to upgrade the present facilities with the opportunity to create further jobs.

Silchrome MD Austen Thwaite said: “We bought the business four years ago just as the recession started. After two very difficult years the business is now profitable and well positioned for growth with turnover back to £1.5m.”

With the growth programme underway, the company approached Finance Yorkshire to help with its continued expansion.

“Our Investment Manager Grahame Lunt visited me on site to find out about the company and was supportive during the application process which concluded very smoothly,” said Austen.

“We have installed a new powder coating facility as well as lifting machinery to help us move heavier parts around which will enable us to work with bigger components. The investment has also been used to support our working capital. We currently have a workforce of 30 and have a medium term plan to boost turnover to around £2.5m which will add around six people to our workforce.”

Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager Grahame Lunt said: “Like many businesses in our region and across the country, Silchrome have felt the effects of the recession.

“But the new team have a clear direction of where the business is heading. The investment will give them additional working capital to install new processing lines and increase production, ensuring they have the facilities, capability and staff numbers to achieve their goals in the next three years.”

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

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

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire