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£50,000 loan tees-up golf firm for international expansion.

Published: 20th October 2004

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Managing director, John Potticary, a former golf professional from Essex.

Rotherham set to be world centre of the perfect golf swing.

A Rotherham-based company that produces an electronic teaching aid designed to develop the perfect golf swing is set to expand sales internationally with the help of a £50,000 loan from South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

Swingcam Limited makes video-based teaching equipment that analyses golfers’ posture and swing. The equipment is installed in golf driving ranges and golf clubs with practice facilities where golfers can buy a digital card from the pro-shop to access the equipment that produces a 15-minute DVD or video of their swing, either for self-analysis or in conjunction with a professional coach.

The company head office is at the Bradmarsh Business Park, Templeborough, Rotherham. Early in 2005 it will transfer assembly of the equipment from Hertforshire to South Yorkshire and also sub-contract metal working to local engineers.

The Swingcam equipment is the brainchild of managing director, John Potticary, a former golf professional from Essex. He chose Rotherham as an ideal base for the business because of its central location. After two years of development and trials, the equipment has so far been installed in 80 driving ranges around the UK and 15 in Spain. Mr Potticary is planning to launch Swingcam in the United States next year- into a market with more than 30,000 golf professionals.

Said Mr Potticary: " Swingcam is being shown at the Chrysler Open tournament and will be launched at a major golf fair in Florida next January. These events will provide an excellent launch pad for our product in the huge American market. I am optimistic that selling to the U.S. will enable us to expand significantly and that is good news for South Yorkshire as it will mean new jobs and work for suppliers."

The SYIF funding will support the cost of sales development, expanding marketing activity, providing new IT systems and establishing a new office and warehouse.

Investment Manager, Andrew Chaffer, said: "Swingcam is a simple yet effective idea that looks set to take off and could make Rotherham the world centre of the perfect golf swing! The equipment enables golf professionals to better assess clients’ technique and advise them on how to improve their swing. This is a business that has found a potentially huge nice market that is focused on international expansion from its South Yorkshire base."

SYIF can provide loans and equity investments ranging from £15,000 to £2.5m to businesses in, or prepared to relocate to, South Yorkshire. The Fund has already invested over £8 million in 109 businesses.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).