A business based in Cramlington is planning a national expansion following £500k investment. The funding comes from the Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures, which has invested £350k alongside an angel investor.
Boilerplan UK supplies home owners with domestic boiler installation using a lean and innovative model. The company, which is already established in 6 regions across the UK, works with locally subcontracted engineers and installation partners while providing in-house after-sales care. This allows it to offer competitive prices without compromising on customer service.
The company was set up by Ian Henderson in 2014, after more than 20 years working in a family-run heating and plumbing company.
The investment will be used to build out the team, creating 12 new jobs, and to roll out the model nationally on a region by region basis.
Ian Henderson said: “The idea for Boilerplan UK came from my experiences working in heating and plumbing. The problem with the heating industry is that it is very antiquated – choices for private customers are still fairly limited.
“There are approximately 1 million new boilers fitted in privately owned homes each year. Customers typically have had two options – either to pay the expensive rates charged by national energy companies to receive good customer service, or to employ a small local company with cheaper rates but where there is no guarantee of after-sales care.
“I believed there was a large gap to fill in the market, which Boilerplan UK now addresses. By employing only a management team and customer service team directly we are able to keep our overheads low, passing the savings on to our customers. We then find the best plumbers in each area to partner with so we know our customers can enjoy a high standard of work, with the reassurance of having the support of a national customer service team.”
In addition to a customer-focussed business model, Boilerplan UK has secured a contract with Barclays Bank which means customers receive one of the lowest rate finance deals available. Henderson said: “We can sign customers up for finance instantly using a Barclays’ iPad platform, when we survey the property for a new boiler. Customers don’t have to worry about paying for a new boiler outright and we sell finance at cost price, meaning our customers know they’re getting the best deal possible.”
Stephen Price, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures said: “Ian has a wealth of experience in the heating and plumbing industry, which he’s successfully used to establish Boilerplan UK. It’s a unique offering and one we believe is incredibly attractive to homeowners and landlords.
“Before approaching us, Ian had already entered 6 different regions in the UK and established a partnership with Barclays. The funding can now be used to expand the company further and establish a strong position nationally. ”
Paul Wigham, partner at Watson Burton and part of the firm’s corporate and commercial team, acted for Northstar Ventures on its investment in Boilerplan UK, supporting the company with a wide range of legal services. The Watson Burton team also included solicitor Kirsty Adamson.
Paul Wigham said: “We were delighted to have been able to act for Northstar Ventures on a deal which will make a major impact to the growth of Boilerplan UK and help the company to move forward. It has also been pleasing to see it attract a high level of private investment.
“Boilerplan UK has developed a truly customer-focused service that helps households across the country – and it is fantastic to see a North East business being backed in this way.
“We have acted for Northstar Ventures in a number of similar investments, which are helping innovative businesses to take their next steps: it was exciting to have the opportunity to bring our legal expertise to bear again for Northstar Ventures in this instance.”