Manchester photography start-up pulls in £100,000 from Northern Powerhouse Fund

Three-year-old Grey Box Studio Ltd received £50,000 from the fund with another £50,000 coming from Barclays Bank to ramp up growth...

Creative content and photography studio Grey Box, which works with brands such as Matalan, has secured £100,000 in funding from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) and Barclays Bank.

Founded in 2014 by Simon Grimley and Lindsy Agana, Grey Box is based in Ardwick Manchester and currently employs four members of staff.

The business specialises in fashion photography for the likes of Joules Clothing and Cotton Traders but is looking to use the investment to diversify into food and drink photography. There are also plans to develop a new 6,000 sq. ft. premises in Salford, and to make six new hires by the end of 2017.

Co-founder Grimely said of the news: “Our goal is to become the number one creative content agency in the UK and securing this loan from Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and Barclays gives us just the injection of investment we need to take our growth to the next level.”

The NPIF is a £400m fund, supported financially by the European Union, that provides – among other forms of funding – micro-finance loans of between £25,000 to £100,000 to small and medium-sized businesses across the North West. Its micro-finance division is managed by alternative finance provider Business Finance Solutions (BFS) and MSIF,

BFS director Paul Breen said that Grey Box is a “highly innovative and ambitious company”:

“Our relationship with Barclays meant that we could partner with them to create a co-funded  option with Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund that enables Grimley and Agana to secure the investment and the confidence they need to build on their reputation and to grow in a local, national and global marketplace.

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“Grey Box was originally referred to us by the Business Growth Hub’s Access to Finance service. Working in partnership with private sector partners like Barclays and the Growth Hubs, allows us to offer an even wider and more flexible choice of alternative finance to the region’s businesses.”

Start-ups and small businesses looking for more information about the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund should contact BFS.


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