A METAL coatings firm has raised £160,000 to buy new equipment to increase capacity at its Tyneside plant.
Gateshead-based AMD Specialist Coatings is hoping to see record sales of £1m this year after getting its third investment from NEL Fund Managers.
NEL backed the firm’s management buy-out in 2008 by managing director Steve Davis and then put in another £120,000 to buy equipment to meet the needs of its growing customer base.
Davis said: “There’s been a noticeable pick-up in market demand over the last few months, especially from our existing clients, and we’ve managed to achieve ‘preferred supplier’ status with a number of them, which gives us a very solid platform on which to base the next stage of our development.
“The equipment we’re bringing in will physically increase our capacity to manage more and larger contracts, and teaming this investment with the different kinds of training opportunities that we’re providing to the workforce will bring real improvements to the way that we operate.”
The latest investment is buying bigger racks to hold components being coated and a crane to carry them about.
The 50-year-old firm, which works for a wide range of firms in industries including increasingly in the oil and gas sector expects to grow its 23-strong staff and has just taken on its first apprentices on as fulltime workers.
Its customer base includes major names such as WD Close & Sons, Pearson Engineering, Responsive Group, the Express Group, Soil Machine Dynamics and Tesco.
“Our first two apprentices have done fantastically well and have more than earned the full-time jobs we’ve now given them. We’re keen to do more in this area, to give other young people the chance to learn new career skills, and hope to be taking on two new apprentices in the near future,” said Davis.
The investment came from £125m Finance for Business North East Fund managed by North East Finance.
Simon Johnson, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “The AMD management team has always maintained a clear vision of what it wants to achieve.”