Special needs furniture manufacturer secures investment

Left to right: David Ward and Melanie Reynolds from Finance Yorkshire with Clive Jenkins, Managing Director of Jenx

A family business that makes furniture for disabled children and adults has secured a major investment from Finance Yorkshire.

Sheffield-based Jenx was founded in 1982 by product designer Clive Jenkins and his wife Catherine, a paediatric physiotherapist.

The company designs and manufactures innovative support products to help children with special postural needs to live happy and fulfilling lives. Their portfolio includes products for seating, standing, sleeping and therapy.

One of Jenx’s best known products is Monkey, a simple and adjustable wooden standing system for children of up to six years old.

Jenx has received a Business Loan of £180,000 from Finance Yorkshire, which will help to increase the manufacturing capacity for cutting wood and plastic sheets. The equipment will enable Jenx to make products faster and with greater accuracy.

To date, Finance Yorkshire has invested over £105 million in Yorkshire and Humber, enabling companies to increase their turnover by £377 million and attract a further £273 million from other private sector sources. Finance Yorkshire investment has helped those SMEs to create and safeguard more than 12,200 jobs in the region.

Clive Jenkins, Managing Director of Jenx, said: “Our products are designed and manufactured to provide the support that children need as they develop. We work closely with children, carers and therapists .Our products are used by children in many different environments including health, social services, education and at home.

“This investment means we can replace our old machines and improve efficiency, and comes at a time when we have a number of exciting new products in the pipeline.”

Jenx has a turnover of around £6m and employs 75 staff. It currently exports around 15 per cent of its products to countries including Australia, New Zealand and the US.

UK sales and distribution of Jenx products is carried out by a division of Jenx Limited called Jiraffe, run by daughter Holly Jenkins, which has grown strongly since its launch two years ago.

“We have been growing over the last couple of years but there are always new product areas for us to look at. While Jiraffe is focused on the domestic market, Jenx is now pushing forward with a more global view and growing our international trade,” said Clive.

Melanie Reynolds, of Finance Yorkshire, said: “Our investment will drive efficiencies in the manufacturing process and enable Jenx to take advantage of opportunities both in the UK and overseas. Jenx is a long-established family business that has developed an excellent reputation for providing innovative and well-made products that make a huge difference to the lives of their users.”

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 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, UK Government and the European Investment Bank. Finance Yorkshire is also supported by the Regional Growth Fund.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com or call 0300 030 6060.

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