Home > News & Events > August 2003 > News Article

Fund supports Sheffield company with a £100,000 loan

Published: 20th August 2003

Hugh Facey, Executive Chairman of Loadhhog, demonstrates the company's Loadhog system to Andy Chaffer, SYIF Investment Manager who led the deal and Gordon MacRae, Business Link Advisor.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund and Business Link South Yorkshire have backed Sheffield company Gripple Ltd with funding which will enable investment in its subsidiary company Loadhog Ltd.

Loadhog Ltd, will be housed in a new factory, which will provide a state-of-the-art manufacturing process for a new supply chain-packaging product. The investment will lead to the creation of 90 skilled jobs during the first three years of its life.

The process will involve the introduction of a very large plastic injection machine to deliver structured foam mouldings based on a revolutionary technology known as Mucell - developed at Mit, USA. The process is expected to be at the forefront of new developments in the UK plastic injection industry.

Employees of Loadhog and Gripple will be able to buy shares in the new enterprise.

Managing Director, Hugh Facey, said: "Loadhog is an environmental packaging solution, which will deliver substantial savings in labour, material and disposal costs in the supply chain distribution of products.

"The cost savings and environmental benefits will be enormous and immediate. Initial interest has already been established in the automotive, grocery retail, DIY and mail handling industries.

"We plan to create a success driven work environment based on innovation, an excellent work force, social ownership and support to the local community."

The project was introduced to SYIF by Gordon MacRae from Business Link South Yorkshire. As well as the £100,000 loan from SYIF, the project was one of the first to benefit from IFG2 - a new scheme funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Objective 1, and managed by Business Link South Yorkshire.

Situated on Newhall Road, Lower Don Valley the new facility is expected to be completed by November 2003.

Parent company Gripple Ltd started in 1988 with the invention of the Gripple -designed to join fencing and wire together. The company expanded year on year in the agricultural, viticultural and construction markets. The company has enjoyed growth at 30% per annum since that period and now has an annual turnover of £13.5m with branches in Chicago, Montevideo, Strasbourg and Johannesburg. It employs 137 people world-wide.

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd, said: "It is always good to be involved in a new project and Loadhog will provide many benefits for the environment and health and safety. We are keen to hear from businesses, both new and established, with innovative ideas.

"Loadhog is an excellent example of business support and funding organisations working together to assist an ambitious, innovative local company adding value to the economy."

The Fund provides development and risk capital ranging from £15k to £1m to businesses in, or prepared to relocate to, South Yorkshire.

It offers two key products, one of which is loans ranging from £15k to £ 150k with effective annual interest rates from as little as three per cent per annum. The second product is an equity-linked package, ranging from £50k to £1m where the Fund takes a minority stake in the business.

A unique feature of the way the Fund can help businesses is the Mentorbank project, which provides subsidised mentoring support to help management teams grow the business more profitably.

IFG2 is managed by Business Link South Yorkshire and is available to SMEs in South Yorkshire to apply for funding support after a business health-check. For more information on IFG2, companies should call 0800 073 7474.

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).