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School uniform company achieving top marks

Published: 9th November 2009

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Andrew Spooner with accountant Peter Weaving and SYIF's Andy Chaffer

Large Picture

SYIF’s Andy Chaffer, accountant Peter Weaving with Andrew Spooner managing director of Classwear.

A Bolsterstone company which produces school uniforms is gaining grade A results.

Emertees Ltd, which trades as Classwear, provides uniforms to more than 200 schools, particularly in Sheffield where they supply to 60 per cent of secondary schools in the city.

The company is expanding its supply chain across Yorkshire after a successful period and is looking to add to its 15-strong workforce.

To support the development Classwear has received a £100,000 loan from South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF).

Classwear sell and deliver the embroidered uniforms from their two acre site in the Peak District and the company is currently in the middle of its busiest period.  

Andrew Spooner, managing director of Classwear, said: “We aim to minimise the stress for both parents and frontline staff at schools. If there are 2,000 pupils at the school that is a lot of uniforms to source, order and provide to parents.

“Classwear works with the school to identify what uniform they want before providing parents with an order form. The uniform is then delivered back to the school with a copy of the order form so it can be handed out to the pupils.

“We have enjoyed massive growth in a very short period of time. Because of the increase in the amount of work, we need more staff to help meet the demand.

“The investment will enable us to employ more people and help increase the number of schools we work with across South Yorkshire. We recently recruited Nick Cook from HSBC as head of sales and marketing to support this growth.”

Parents can also order the uniforms directly with Classwear via their website (www.classwear.uk.com), with the company starting to see a massive increase in this area for sales.

Michael Farr, commercial manager for HSBC Barnsley, introduced Classwear to SYIF.

Andy Chaffer, business director from SYIF, added: “We are pleased to support Classwear with this investment. The business is growing quickly and as a consequence needs greater stock levels to support sales.

“The company has exciting plans for further growth in the year ahead and we look forward to working with them to help achieve more success.”

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).