Welsh industrial scaffolding provider secures £5.4m from Business Growth Fund

Swanbridge Hire and Sales becomes first South Wales business to receive funding from the government-backed scheme

Barry-based company Swanbridge Hire Sales (SHS) has received a £5.4m investment from government-backed initiative Business Growth Fund (BGF). Founded in 1998 by Paul Smith, SHS offers high specification industrial scaffolding services to clients in the petrochemical, oil and power generation sectors, including multinational companies, Dow Corning, Murco and Alstom. Following a 60% annual turnover increase in 2012, with £14m reported in the year ending July 2012, SHS now plans to double in size, using the BGF investment to fund expansion into sectors such as nuclear, pharmaceutical and demolition. The deal marks BGF’s first investment into a business in South Wales and is expected to create over 100 new jobs. BGF, which was introduced to help Britain’s growth-focused small and medium-sized businesses, structured a flexible investment, providing a mixture of preference shares or subordinated loan stock, according to investee preference.  Paul Smith, founder and CEO of SHS, is confident that the BGF investment will give his company the boost it needs to take full advantage of the £4.2bn scaffolding industry: “Over the last decade, SHS has built up a strong position in the scaffolding services market.  “However, in our business a certain level of upfront investment of equipment and working capital is needed when taking on new contracts and we had reached a point where we felt unable to take advantage of all opportunities available to us.  This is a frustrating position for any ambitious business, and something we can now actively address with the support of BGF.”

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