An award-winning County Durham renewable energy consultancy has moved into bigger and better premises to help support its scale-up plans – and it is already creating new jobs as a result.
Electek Solutions (ESL) has used a £50,000 investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund to renovate a previously-derelict 6,000 sq ft office and factory space in the Hobson Industrial Estate near Burnopfield.
The four-year-old firm secured the investment through regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers and has already created three new jobs since moving into its new home, with more expected to follow through the year.
ESL designs, specifies and installs new renewable energy-based systems and solutions for businesses of all sizes and across all sectors, with projects ranging from the simple installation of LED lighting right through to major industrial projects.
It won four awards at the recent 2019 North East Energy Efficiency Awards, including the main Consultancy Of The Year award, and will represent the region at the national finals in September.
ESL works with clients right across the UK, from Cornwall up to Edinburgh, and is also working on a major new solar farm and battery storage facility close to Marrakesh in Morocco which is due to come online later this year.
Its specialist teams carry out audits of clients’ existing energy usage, develop solutions which will reduce both their energy spend and carbon footprint, and then manages both the practical and financial aspects of putting these ideas in place.
It also provides energy monitoring systems which allow clients to remotely monitor their use of all utilities and identify areas in which improvements and savings can be made.
Barry Gill of TIG Corporate Finance assisted ESL with the investment application, implemented the new systems and is continuing to support the business with its growth plans.
David Hutchinson, who set the business up four years ago, says: “We’ve been able to take advantage of the move towards greater commercial use of renewable energy solutions over the last few years and have grown quickly as a result.
“Having outgrown our previous offices, we really needed to find bigger and better premises that would give us the room we needed to keep expanding, and we’re already feeling the benefit of having more room in which to work.
“The team has done a fantastic job to get the new premises ready in just a few weeks, and we’re even able to use the office as a demonstration area for some of the renewable energy technologies that we specify for clients.
“We have lots of opportunities to keep growing, both at home and overseas, and have the resources in place to quickly scale up our operations.
“As well as providing the capital we needed, the investment application process gave us the chance to review and enhance our own management and financial systems, and we’ve been able to make a number of improvements as a result.”
Part of the £120m North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.
It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.
Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “ESL has established a strong position in a growing niche market that is moving more and more into the mainstream.
“Their impressive new offices give the team the space it needs to work even more efficiently, and we’re looking forward to the next chapters of the firm’s growth story.”
The overarching North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.
NEL is also responsible for investing the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund, which offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.