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End of recession set in stone for Sheffield masons 

Published: 3rd June 2009

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(From L to R) Andy Chaffer, business director at SYIF with Stephen Nicholson and John Nicholson, directors of Capital Stone Masonry.

A Sheffield stone masons affected by the recession believes there is light at the end of tunnel after enjoying an upturn in business.  

Capital Stone Masonry has just secured £200,000-worth of work with a further £400,000 of contracts in the pipeline.

The company had been affected by the slow-down in the building industry, but is now aiming to bounce back stronger than ever after seeing the market begin to increase.

Capital Stone Masonry provide bespoke work for private and commercial properties around the country, while also supporting Sheffield City Council’s Streetforce team. 

Brothers Stephen and John Nicholson are the directors of Capital Stone Masonry.

Stephen said: “Work is definitely starting to pick-up and if all our potential contracts come to fruition we will be back to where we were before the recession hit.

“January and February are often quiet months for the building trade because of the weather and we have had a very cold winter. The recession made this period even more difficult for everyone in the industry.

“However, we are now busier than we have ever been and can start to look forward with optimism once more.”

Stephen began Capital Stone Masonry in 1991, before bringing his brother John into the business five years ago.

Before the recession Capital Stone Masonry had seen a constant growth and secured a £60,000 loan from South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) to help them relocate from two smaller yards in Barlow and on Rivelin Valley Road to one large 18,000sq ft site on Effingham Road.

The investment enabled the company to renovate a derelict factory into their new home, while providing the funds to set-up the required machinery.

Stephen added: “By having a larger site we are in a much stronger position to come through the recession period, so the investment from SYIF was vital to us.

“We are able to provide bespoke work all over the country and have gained contracts for private dwellings to commercial developments. We have also been able to embark on a marketing campaign, launching a new website and a company DVD, which has had a real effect in attracting new business.”

Andy Chaffer, business director at South Yorkshire Investment Fund, said: “It is great to hear that Capital Stone Masonry is now starting to turn a corner and attract new business.

“It has been a difficult period for everyone in the building industry, but it is clear to see that those companies, such as Capital Stone Masonry, which have a solid foundation in place, are more likely to weather the storm and enjoy prosperity in the future.”

SYIF can provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

For more information about South Yorkshire Investment Fund, please visit www.syif.com or ring 01709 386377.

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).