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Third SYIF loan helps Labfacility expand into new premises: Four-years of support from SYIF has supported successful development

Published: 2nd August 2005

Large Picture

Allan Wood and Labfacility managing director, Martin Riddett with one of the thousands of electrical components supplied by the expanding company.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund has made a third loan to a company whose expansion in the region has played a key part in establishing it as the UK’s leading manufacturer of temperature sensors.

Labfacility Ltd has borrowed £125,000 from SYIF as part of a £455,000 funding package that has enabled the company to move into new 7,500 sq. ft. premises at the former Dinnington Colliery site near Sheffield - the company’s largest operating site. It provides more space and significant room for growth and has also enabled the company to provide a staff canteen along with meeting and training rooms.

Originally launched as a one-man business in Bognor Regis, Sussex, in 1971 Labfacility established a northern operation in 1989 by buying a three-man company at Dinnington. Since then Labfacility has continued to expand and now employs 28 people in Sheffield.

Major UK blue-chip clients include BAE, Eurotherm, GlaxoSmithKline, H J Heinz, Honeywell Control Systems, ICI, Jaguar Cars, Lucas Aerospace, as well as various Ministry of Defence and university research establishments. Its products are featured in the worldwide catalogues of electrical distributors Farnell Electronics, Omega and RS Components, and it exports to more than 85 countries.

The company’s first dealings with South Yorkshire Investment Fund led to the advance of a £30,000 unsecured loan that allowed Managing Director Martin Riddett, to buy out a major shareholder and expand the business further, including the introduction of new products. This was followed by a £20,000 loan to support further development.

Said Martin Riddett:"We found the service provided by SYIF to be very effective with the minimum of red tape. Investment Manager Allan Wood has worked with Labfacility now for over three years and during that time has helped us to achieve our growth and development plans at Dinnington."

"Without the assistance of SYIF, Labfacility would have found it tremendously difficult to have achieved the funding required for this project in the time frame required and we are eternally grateful for their help."

Allan Wood, investment manager, said: "It has been very satisfying to provide funding to help Labfacility develop its operations. The company’s commitment to South Yorkshire is clear with the opening of its largest manufacturing operation here which is playing a key part in the regeneration of the former colliery at Dinnington."

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).