New steel fund established for Scottish start-ups
UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE), in partnership with Business Gateway Lanarkshire, has launched a new finance initiative that will provide up to £7,500 of funding for start-up companies which can demonstrate growth and employment potential.
The ‘Regeneration Fund’ will be available for the next three years and forms part of the additional £1.5 million committed to regeneration in Lanarkshire by the Tata Steel subsidiary, originally created in response to the mothballing of the Dalzell and Clydebridge steel plants, which are now back in production.
Motherwell-based Marton Fabrication is the first company to receive the new funding.
Managing director Derek Ross is starting his own business after the company he previously worked for closed, allowing him to continue to service the established customer base.
Mr Ross has 20 years’ experience in the sector and Marton Fabrications will provide a wide range of specialist engineering services, including sheet metalwork, fabrication and engineering assembly to produce bespoke products. Products will range from architectural work, such as handrails, to complex equipment housings for the energy industry.
The funding will allow the start-up to purchase the assets of the business he was previously employed by. Ross brings with him an apprentice and aims to hire two more members of staff in the next year.
Mr Ross said: “When my last company was facing closure due to the owner’s ill health, we discussed the idea of me going out on my own. It was incredibly challenging to acquire the initial capital, so when UK Steel Enterprise and Business Gateway said they would be able to provide investment, I was overwhelmed.
“All my experience is in metal fabrication and it’s a triumph that I will be able to continue my trade, as well as provide training for local apprentices.”
Anne Clyde, regional manager at UK Steel Enterprise, said: “With more money than ever to invest in Scotland we are keen to help any company which has the potential for growth and employment opportunities.
“Having heard Derek’s story we were keen to continue to work with Business Gateway Lanarkshire to help fund start-ups which struggle to secure funding. This new loan secures a Scottish business, as well as jobs in Lanarkshire, and we hope it will help many more businesses over the next three years.”
Liz McCuthcheon, business start-up team leader at Business Gateway Lanarkshire, said: “We are delighted to be working with UK Steel Enterprise to help provide start-up businesses with investment capital. Getting funding for a start-up business can be challenging and our experienced business advisors work with clients to cover all aspects of the start-up journey. That’s why we know how important this new fund is to the Lanarkshire area.”
Start-up companies based in Lanarkshire can apply for the Regeneration Fund. Contact UK Steel Enterprise for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.