IMPORTANT - Up-Front Payment and Advanced Fee Fraud

Up-Front Payment and Advanced Fee Fraud

Business Loans Scotland is aware of an Advanced Fee Fraud using our name or initials “BLS”. This Fraud induces individuals into believing they are applying for a fast loan but before an individual receives the loan they are told they must pay an upfront fee. Once the fee is paid, the victim does not hear from the company again and the loan is never received.
Business Loans Scotland does not ask a Borrower for any fees up-front and any promise of this type of loan requiring an up-front fee is a CON.
If a fraud has been committed, please report it immediately to the Police.

24/10/18

Ayrshire Agencies Ltd. receive £50,000 loan!

Ayrshire Agencies Ltd, a Kilmarnock based family business, receives £50,000 from government initiative to support businesses in Scotland

Business Loans Scotland has granted Kilmarnock-based Ayrshire Agencies Ltd, a £50,000 loan. The loan will support the growth of the company, which manufactures conservatories and aluminium glazing products, as David Wilson takes over the business founded by his parents over 20 year ago.

Ayrshire Agencies was established in 1994 by husband and wife team, Cecil & Valerie Wilson, who grew the business as a highly respected manufacturer of double glazing products serving markets in the UK & Ireland. The company employs 18 people at its Kilmarnock premises at Southhook Road, where it manufactures and supplies a range of windows, doors and roof systems direct to trade, commercial and domestic customers as well as operating a PVC trade counter,  selling PVC building products including fascia and soffit, guttering, decorative wall panelling and wet wall, composite decking and flooring,  amongst other products.

Following a tough trading period, Ayrshire Agencies worked closely with John Strachan, their Business Gateway Growth Advisor, who helped them access East Ayrshire Council’s beReady programme which helped identify the need for an injection of capital to support the business to refocus on key markets and implement its growth plans. This led to an introduction to Business Loans Scotland and with advice and support on their loan application through beReady, Ayrshire Agencies’ subsequent application to Business Loans Scotland for £50,000 was successful.

 

Speaking about the difference the loan will make to Ayrshire Agencies Ltd, David said: “Ultimately, without the funding from Business Loans Scotland we wouldn’t have been able to fully implement our growth strategy. As I take over from my parents, I am confident that we are in the best position to move forward and grow the company further.”

Andrew Dickson, Fund Manager from Business Loans Scotland, added: “It is well documented that access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger. I am delighted the fund has been able to support Ayrshire Agencies Ltd with vital working capital to get started.”

Sharon Hodgson, East Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development Manager and Board Member of Business Loans Scotland, said: “This is more great news for East Ayrshire and another example of the spirit of entrepreneurship and business leadership we are seeing drive the local economy forward. I am delighted for David and the team.”

Ayrshire Agencies Ltd. receive £50,000 loan!
16/10/18

£75K Business Loans Aids Airdrie Firm's Expansion

A £75,000 loan has helped a growing Airdrie business secure £700k worth of new contracts and a full order book.

WQS (UK) Ltd contacted North Lanarkshire Council’s Enterprise team when the need to raise working capital to service a series of large public contracts arose.  The loan finance helped plug the gap in a £150,000 funding package, enabling the business to resource itself to meet the scaled up demands.

The Company, who have been trading in their current form for just 2 years, specialise in the monitoring, maintenance and upgrade of hot and cold water systems to help control the possible growth of Legionellosis.  Customers span the public and private sectors the majority of which are located across the central belt, but they do cover most of Scotland

Established by brothers Kevin and Des McGivern, WQS UK Ltd already employs 17 staff and operates from 2,000 sq ft premises at Chapelhall Industrial Estate.

A second business, Wonderseal Ltd, which provides ‘patches’ for the repair of commercial water storage systems and is also run by the brothers, is seeing similar success, with products being shipped overseas to Belgium, Germany and the US  to meet increasing customer demand.

Kevin McGivern, Director said:

 “In WQS, 90% of our work comes from local authorities and the public sector.  Contracts in this space can be high-value and framework driven providing a secure pipeline of work which is great, but cashflow for a young company like us, was a challenge.  We were confident of our abilities to deliver on the contract requirements but just needed the injection of capital to allow us to get started.  The loan funding has helped finance 5 new employees and 3 vans, propelling us forward and taking the business on to a new level.”

Yvonne Weir, North Lanarkshire Council Enterprise Manager added:

“Business Loans Scotland funding can be used for multiple purposes and it is pleasing to see the impact that this loan has had in servicing a need for working capital.  These contract wins will undoubtedly be a big confidence booster to the company and will no doubt will pave the way to winning more work, enabling the business to grow turnover and jobs here in North Lanarkshire.”

Water Quality Systems
09/10/18

An appetising loan of £50,000 awarded to Midlothian healthy snack company

Healthy Nibbles based in Loanhead, Midlothian is an award-winning snack company serving both corporate organisations and the community with healthy snack boxes to enable healthier choices to be more readily available.

The business was formed in 2014 when Founder, Sara Roberts identified the challenge of finding healthy and nutritious snacks on the go. Sara then took the plunge and decided to start Healthy Nibbles with a mission to grow the business and improve the health of commuters and workers.

Supplying healthy snack options for vending machines and offices across the UK, Healthy Nibbles also provide the option for businesses to white label their snack boxes for use at events and conferences which can also be tailored to suit the needs of the audience.

With plans to grow the business dramatically over the next year and with an expectation of a £2million turnover by the end of 2018, the loan awarded by Business Loans Scotland will support Sara’s plans of doubling the number of full-time employees to support the acquisition of new clients.

Speaking of the loan awarded, Fund Manager of Business Loans Scotland, Andrew Dickson added:

“Access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger.”

Healthy Nibbles
13/09/18

Loan funding sees export growth for North Lanarkshire business

A business loan has helped a local business to take its innovative products to wider markets.

Clearwater Controls Ltd in Cumbernauld secured £100,000 from Business Loans Scotland (BLS), administered by the council’s Enterprise Team, as part of a larger funding package totalling £250,000.

The company has developed the ‘DERAGGER®’ anti-ragging device that monitors, detects and automatically alleviates blockages in waste water pumps. The product has been used in Scotland for a number of years and has now begun to penetrate the US market. Pilot projects are underway around the UK, with further projects due to start in the US and Australia in the near future.

Simon Crompton, Managing Director of Clearwater Controls Ltd, said:

“The DERAGGER is the only intelligent product of its kind available in the market, providing real-time detection of wet-wipe type obstructions.

“We know the impact our technology can have on the waste water sector, in terms of reducing cost, improving staff safety and reducing energy consumption and other environmental incidents. Business growth has been good in the past year, but this investment from Business Loans Scotland and North Lanarkshire Council is crucial in enabling us to scale the company and grow sales in the UK, USA and Australia.”

Clearwater Controls Ltd employs eight staff in Scotland and shares 40,000 sq ft industrial premises at Axis Park in Westfield, Cumbernauld with sister company ID Systems UK Ltd. ID Systems are a specialist telemetry provider to Scottish Water, providing offsite manufacture, fabrication and component assembly services. Both companies relocated to Cumbernauld from Grangemouth last year, bringing over 200 jobs to the area.

“We are pleased to be supporting innovative and ambitious companies like Clearwater through Business Loans Scotland funding,” said Councillor Olivia Carson, Vice Convener of the Enterprise and Housing Committee.

“The loan funding will contribute to the future growth of the company, creating new jobs and increasing export sales.

“Clearwater is one of a number of companies, particularly in the engineering and technology sector, choosing to locate in North Lanarkshire which is a very encouraging trend. With the range of support available to businesses through our Enterprise Team, North Lanarkshire offers an increasingly attractive package to companies.”

The DERAGGER technology helps utility companies to minimise down-time, reduce energy costs and has the capability to detect wear on pump bearings and other components through power curve monitoring.

Blocked or partially ragged water pumps are a significant problem in the UK and globally. There are around 181,000 waste water pumps in the UK alone, and blockages are estimated to cost utility companies in the region of £100m annually. It’s estimated that pumps also account for around 10% of the world’s total electrical energy consumption.

Loan funding sees export growth for North Lanarkshire business
03/09/18

Stream Marine Training Ltd receive £100,000 funding!

Renfrewshire based Stream Marine Training is a world class provider of fire-fighting, sea survival, survival craft and HSE training to the global maritime, oil and gas, renewables and construction industries.

Their training courses cover a variety of areas including health and safety, firefighting, fire prevention, security awareness, and personal survival techniques to name a few.

Having recently moved into their state of the art 18,000 sq. ft training facility at Glasgow Airport, the loan granted by Business Loans Scotland will be used to further develop their classroom facilities and range of courses. 

With a plan to increase the number of courses from 40 to 55-60 over the next 12 months, this investment will allow the company to make necessary renovations within the training centre that will help support these additional courses and enable the building to be utilised to its full capacity.

In doing this, it will allow the company to grow their market and additionally employ more instructors.

Speaking of the loan awarded, CEO of Stream Marine Training, Martin White said:

Stream Marine Training is proud to be working with Renfrewshire Council’s Economic Development team, who have been supportive of us since we started in 2014. This much needed investment will enable us to capture market opportunities and growth with new courses and assets being rolled out across the business.  Traditional methods of investment are not always available to support business and it’s great to see such a proactive team within my local authority keen to support the business’s ambitious growth plans. 

Fund Manager of Business Loans Scotland, Andrew Dickson added:

“Access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger.”

Stream Marine Training Ltd receive £100,000 funding!
13/08/18

Glenammer Engineering Ltd plans in-house manufacturing with £100,000 Business Loans Scotland Loan!

Business Loans Scotland award loan for high quality laboratory test sieves to be manufactured in-house.

Glenammer Engineering based in Ayr, South Ayrshire capitalised on the market opportunity to manufacture a high-quality laboratory test sieve for customers that require the highest standard of test equipment.

The extensive range of laboratory test sieves are distributed globally into a wide and diverse range of industry sectors, including construction, aggregates, laboratories, universities, and test environments where the most exacting standards are required.

Glenammer Engineering supplies to multi-national business enterprises, leading research organisations and private companies through its network of distributors and agents as well as direct to consumers.

The company are continually working hard to develop and grow the Glenammer brand both in the UK and Internationally. Following their move to a 6,500 sq/ft production unit, its larger production facility and new equipment has allowed the business to seek increased market share and successfully grow its sales.

With the loan granted from Business Loans Scotland, Glenammer aims to take full control of its manufacturing in-house allowing them to deliver an excellent standard of quality to their customers.

Speaking of the loan awarded, Director of Glenammer Engineering, Managing Director Claire Wallis said:

“We very much appreciate Business Loans Scotland’s help towards our project. We found the procedures to be straight-forward and the processes went smoothly. We would recommend BLS to any SMEs who are seeking financial support to expand their business.” 

Fund Manager of Business Loans Scotland, Andrew Dickson added:

“Access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger.”

Glenammer Engineering Ltd plans in-house manufacturing with £100,000 Business Loans Scotland Loan!
25/04/18

MacAdam Asphalt Co. receive £100,000 Business Loans Scotland loan!

A LANARK-BASED company has become the latest to receive a £100,000 business loan through South Lanarkshire Council.

Macadam Asphalt Co Ltd is an independent asphalt production plant located in Scotland’s largest granite quarry at Cloburn, Pettinain, near Lanark.

Run by Lanarkshire businessmen Stewart Denny & John Higgins, the company started trading in February 2010, and in that time has produced more than 850000 tonnes of quality assured asphalt, with a sales value of £55million.

The £100,000 loan - awarded by the council through Business Loans Scotland - will enable the company to purchase an additional asphalt plant, increasing turnover significantly, and creating two new jobs straight away...with more to follow.

This loan has also taken the Business Loans Scotland lending to over £1m to 20 businesses in 11 local authority areas since its inception.

Stewart Denny is full of praise for the support given to the company both by South Lanarkshire Council and Business Loans Scotland.

He added: On behalf of everyone at MacAdam Asphalt I offer huge thanks to the council’s planning and economic development team for their support of our company in creating a long-term, sustainable business and local well paid employment for Lanark.

“South Lanarkshire’s approach to economic regeneration is one of excellence and in my opinion, should be the standard all local authorities should strive to attain.

“Local business growth leads to local employment, purchases and consequently greater economic recovery. We are now from a standing start, the largest customer of all our local suppliers. We could not have done that without the consistent support of the council and now Business Loans Scotland.”

Business Loans Scotland builds on the previous successful loan funds, the West of Scotland Loan Fund (WSLF), the East of Scotland Investment Fund (ESIF) and the South of Scotland Loan Scheme.

With significant input of funds from Local Authority Members and the European Regional Development Fund, Business Loans Scotland aims to substantially increase the supply of loan capital to new and existing, small and medium sized businesses across Scotland.

In doing so, this innovative public-private partnership fund can help accelerate the growth of businesses in Scotland, complementing other private and public sector forms of funding.

Councillor John Anderson, Chair of Community and Enterprise Resources, added: “Our aim, through our partnership with Business Loans Scotland, is to make sure that good, commercially viable proposals don’t fail through a lack of access to finance.

“We also want to encourage and support the creation, development and growth of local business, boosting their potential for expansion of trade both within and outwith Scotland.

“I am delighted that we have been able to support Macadam Ashphalt, already a significant employer making substantial contributions to the rural economy, in taking its business to the next level. Not only does it cement and strengthen its position locally, it sets up further employment opportunities and futureproofs operations on a national and international scale.”

MacAdam Asphalt Co receive £100,000 loan!
18/04/18

Glasgow Business Receives £40,000 Loan Funding!

Glasgow business receives £40,000 loan funding from Business Loans Scotland to support further expansion plans.

Video technology business Odro Ltd., are one of the twenty Scottish SMEs to receive loan funding from Business Loans Scotland.   The loan will be utilised to assist in driving their plans for further growth and expansion.

Starting up the company from his home in 2012, The Founder and Director, Bill Scouller’s initial plan for Odro, was to become a digital platform for online dispute resolution.

The Director has always had an interest in technology and after starting the business, quickly found that his creative video technology idea would work well in the recruitment sector for agencies looking to use effective video tools for interview purposes.

Seeing a gap in the market, Bill quickly adapted the business to suit the needs of the recruitment sector and in doing this, Odro began to flourish. Six years on and as a Scottish Enterprise managed business, Odro has moved from its base within Bill’s home to having office premises in Templeton Business Centre, Glasgow.  The business currently employs eight members of staff.

Growing the brand also allowed the business to develop an international presence with clients utilising Odro video technology from across the world including Australia, Dubai, the Netherlands and New York to name a few.

Bill’s plans for growth and expansion of the business didn’t stop there.  With a twelve-month business plan in place, Bill started looking for loan funding and with the support of Glasgow City Council was delighted to secure £40,000 from Business Loans Scotland.

Speaking of the funding awarded, Bill stated:

“The support of Irene Holding at Glasgow City Council and Business Loans Scotland has been invaluable in providing funding to deliver further business growth and job creation.  Odro is expanding both in the UK and Internationally and this financial support together with the continued support from Scottish Enterprise is invaluable at this stage in the company’s growth cycle.”

Councillor Allan Gow, Treasurer of Glasgow City Council, said:

“This loan through Business Loans Scotland demonstrates the commitment Glasgow has for supporting growing businesses in the city.  The injection of capital will help Odro Ltd., continue its growth over the next few years and allow the management team to continue leading the company into new markets.  We remain committed to fostering an innovative environment in Glasgow that supports small businesses in realising their growth potential.” 

Having successfully awarded loans totalling over one million pounds to date to twenty Scottish SMEs, Business Loans Scotland are delighted to have been able to support Odro with their expansion plans.

Speaking of the loan funding awarded, Andrew Dickson, Fund Manager of Business Loans Scotland said:

“Access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger.”

Glasgow Business Receives £40,000 Loan Funding!
19/02/18

SMC Cosmetics - Contracts to Grow

Nail polish manufacturer SMC Cosmetics, established with support from The Highland Council’s Growth Fund and, subsequently by Business Loan Scotland, has successfully secured new contracts with a number of UK and International Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to help fuel its growth and expansion.
Founder of Ross-shire based SMC Cosmetics UK Andrew Pearson originally approached Highland Opportunity (Investments) Ltd Investment Manager during early 2016 for advice and support in establishing the nail polish manufacturing business in Invergordon.  This resulted in a series of discussions and support, not always financial!
Andrew was brought up in the Highlands, after moving to Scotland in the early 90’s, where his father set up a successful business.   Andrew was a Chartered Engineer working in Glasgow but had a desire to move back to the area to raise his young family.  Using lasting industry relationships, technical expertise and the opportunity to start a new family business, with his father, who had substantive experience in the nail polish manufacturing industry, provided a perfect opportunity.
Andrew started looking for funding with support from The Highland Council team, but was either not accepted as a start-up operation due to a high capital cost base or offered support at penal interest rates. Following discussions with the Investment Manager of Highland Opportunity (Investments) Ltd a solution incorporating major support from the Highland Growth Fund and asset finance as well as from the proposers helped support first stage launch.  Subsequently additional support from Business Loan Scotland (a second funding stream available via The Highland Council) along with others was established to improve efficiency and productivity of the business and help target the OEM markets quality expectations.
The co-ordinated Support from the Investment, Planning, Environmental and Trading Standards teams at the Council helped the company establish efficient and effective launch processes to meet with business needs.
Andrew said: “SMC was classed as a high-risk project by traditional lending sources however Highland Council helped us throughout by critically evaluating and supporting our plans and helping us by simplifying the process. It was frustrating with attitudes of many lenders only alleviated by Highland Council’s team support and belief in what we are seeking to achieve. Without their commitment it may have been difficult to achieve our success.
SMC has already taken on eight employees and is looking towards future growth in the market which will increase employment in the Highlands.  We are looking to rival the seven or eight main manufacturers in the world with contracts won due to our commitment, flexibility and minimal lead times. Our approach to encourage and develop a long-term relationship with our customers is seen as a positive attribute.”
Councillor Helen Carmichael, Provost of The Highland Council and Chair of Highland Opportunity (Investments) Ltd commented;
“The Highland Council is pleased with the success to date of SMC and that our support both of finance but also in advice and guidance has helped cement the company within the community and support their growth plans.  The Council  looks forward to continuing to work with SMC over many years to come.”
The Highland Council Investment Fund is keen to support businesses and communities throughout the Highlands with the Investment Manager always remaining impartial, seeking to ensure that the right package to support a development project is established.  First port of call is normally the Business Gateway service in Highlands which has a team located throughout the region.  Information is contained on the main gateway portal of an organisation’s local contact – www.bgateway.com/highland.
SMC Cosmetics - Contracts to Grow
13/02/18

New Loan Scheme makes First Award to local business.

Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Chair of Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Archie Dryburgh, officially launched the new Business Loan Scotland (BLS) fund on Tuesday (28 Nov) with the award of £50,000 to the owner of PB Engineering, Peter Birch.

Councillor Dryburgh said: “BLS is yet another excellent support product offered to businesses in D&G through our business and enterprise team, via advisors at business gateway, and our growth accelerator programmes. Standing here, seeing what can be achieved by companies who want to grow and develop illustrates that taking advice and support from the onset really pays off. One of our Council’s top priorities is building the local economy and I am proud that we can be part of this company’s journey”

Peter Birch commented: “The on-going support I have had from the Business Gateway since I started has helped me develop myself and the business into where we are today. The £50,000 loan was an invaluable part of the overall funding package and allowed us to get the state of the art laser cutting equipment we needed to take the business to the next level.”

Peter started PB Engineering in January 2013, operating out of industrial premises near St John’s Town of Dalry, before re-locating to a purpose built facility in Balmaclellan. The business specialises in metal fabrication and metal construction for all types of customers ranging from external chrome polished banister poles for glass fronted properties or airport, large public sector construction projects all the way through to the steel packaging crates. The company produces metal tubing, metal sheeting and bespoke projects for heavy engineering companies. Their adaptability is one of the company’s main selling points and the new cutting equipment will expand its product offering.

New Loan Scheme makes First Award to local business.
05/02/18

Scotmas Group receive £665,000 funding package!

SCOTMAS Group, a Kelso-based manufacturer of insect repellent and water disinfection products, plans to pursue further international expansion and increase its workforce after securing a £665,000 funding package.

Managing director Alistair Cameron flagged global interest in new water treatment products developed by Scotmas with university partners. The firm plans to extend its reach into Asia and in South America this year.

The funding package sees Scotmas become the first company in the Borders to secure finance from Business Loans Scotland, a new local authority-backed scheme. This was secured with the help of Business Gateway. TMr Cameron also highlighted support from banking giant HSBC.

Business Gateway noted the family firm employs 42 local people and has a further 10 staff in offices in Chile, Turkey, Portugal and Saudi Arabia. It said Scotmas had grown from a home-based business into a major employer in the Kelso area, “with this latest move expected to help create a further 12 local jobs in 2018”.

The funding, Business Gateway noted, would help Scotmas buy its new 27,000 sq ft premises in Pinnaclehill Industrial Estate in Kelso, and purchase upgraded equipment.

Business Gateway noted Scotmas chairman Derek Cameron had, after spending years working throughout Africa, spotted a gap in the market for a “new and effective biocide, chlorine dioxide, that could protect food supplies from bacterial spoilage arising from heat and hygiene issues”.

It added that Scotmas had, over the past 20 years, “helped protect countless people and environments from dangerous bacteria and contamination across Europe, the Middle East, and southern Africa”.

he package includes a £97,000 Regional Selective Assistance grant from Scottish Enterprise.

Scotmas Group receive £665,000 funding package!
28/12/17

Cheers all round for Moray Brewers!

It’s cheers all round as Moray brewers receive £85,000 from Business Loans Scotland

Windswept Brewing Co and Wooha Brewing Co are forging ahead with expansion plans following successful awards from a government initiative to support businesses in Scotland. With support and guidance from Business Gateway in Elgin, both companies were able to apply and secure funding from Business Loans Scotland (BLS).

Windswept Brewing Co received £35,000 from BLS towards plans to create a visitor centre and brewery tap at its Lossiemouth site along with more suitable office space.  This will allow Windswept to set up regular tours for the large number of tourists to the area, as well as put on special events for locals and tourists alike. The long-term aim is to grow to capacity in the current location before building a new brewery that will enable production capacity to increase ten-fold.

The company was founded by Nigel Tiddy and Al Read who are both retired RAF Tornado pilots, driven by their passion for the outdoors and inspired by the enjoyment of that first beer when you have spent a day pushing yourself to the limit.

Commenting on the award, Nigel said: “The loan is a very welcome boost to enable us to implement our plans and we think it also reflects our product strapline – Best when you’ve earned it. We have worked hard to build our business since 2012, and we don’t want to stop here.”

Wooha Brewing Co received £50,000 from BLS in addition to funding from both HSBC and Highlands and Islands Enterprise earlier this year. The loan will be used towards kitting out and optimising its new larger production facility in Kinloss where the company moved a few months ago. Founder and owner, Heather McDonald said: “Our new site means we can increase production five-fold which means we are well on our way to achieving our ambition of becoming one of the UK’s leading craft beer exporters. We believe that in 2018 eighty per cent of our business will be from exports, with the US being the main market.”

Andrew Dickson, Fund Manager from Business Loans Scotland, added: “Access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger. I am delighted the fund has been able to support both of these Moray brewing businesses.”

John Cowe, Chair of Moray Economic Partnership and Board Member of Business Loans Scotland, said: “This is fantastic news for Moray and another example of the spirit of entrepreneurship and business leadership we are seeing drive the local economy forward. Both Windswept Brewing Co and Wooha Brewery are valued local businesses providing employment and boosting the local economy in Moray.  These loans follow the award of Business Loans Scotland funding earlier this year to Moray businesses, ProBond Marine and Makar and it is great to see local businesses expanding.”

Business Loans Scotland is a consortium of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, providing loan finance of up to £100,000 to new and growing small and medium sized businesses across Scotland.

At the end of 2016, the Scottish Government announced a new SME holding fund to give companies access to microcredit finance of up to £25,000, loans of up to £100,000 and equity investment of up to £2 million. The holding fund will distribute European Regional Development Fund investment worth £40 million, to be matched by a total of £60 million from delivery partners, including Business Loans Scotland. Private sector funding of £150 million will also be contributed, leading to £250 million being invested in 500 firms by December 2018, creating 2,000 jobs.

Cheers all round for Moray Brewers!
04/10/17

Making Waves in East Kilbride

A South Lanarkshire couple are making a splash in East Kilbride after securing the first ever £100,000 award from a new business loans scheme with the help of South Lanarkshire Council.

Funding from Business Loans Scotland gave Tom and Nicola Mitchell the support they needed to realise their dream of a purpose built swimming pool as a permanent home for their swim teaching business, Making Waves.

The 25 metre pool in the new town’s Playsport complex has harnessed a wide range of innovative new technologies that aimed at giving users a great experience and helping to protect the environment.

Tom said; “We have spent 14 years building up our business and it has been a labour of love. Teaching swimming gives children confidence, exercise, fun and can even save their lives. We felt the time was right to take it to the next level and this purpose built pool has been designed from the ground up to meet the specific requirements of what we do.”

Nicola said; “We installed an innovative filtration system which means we use less chemicals and the water is gentler on sensitive skin, Making Waves is the first pool in Scotland to use this DAISY technology. We also have a heat exchange system so warm air being taken out by the air conditioning actually heats the pool water. It has been a lot of work but having this full-time base is incredible. It has also enabled us to create 12 fulltime jobs in East Kilbride.”

Business Loans Scotland is backed by a consortium of all 32 Scottish local authorities and can provide loans of up to £100,000 to new and growing small to medium sized businesses across Scotland. Making Waves was the first business to receive the maximum loan.

Chair of South Lanarkshire Council Community and Enterprise Resources Councillor John Anderson said; “It is great to see a company like Making Waves growing and creating new jobs here in South Lanarkshire, our Business Support team played an important part in helping guide Tom and Nicola through the process of securing this loan to make their vision for Making Waves become reality.”

Tom said; “We are very grateful for the support from the Council and, of course, Business Loans Scotland. The new pool has allowed us expand the business, so in addition to lessons for children of all ages we can now offer a year-round service and innovate with ideas such as toddler swimming and adult training.

To enquire about Making Waves swimming lessons phone 0141 530 8007 or email bookings@makingwavesswimming.co.uk

Tom and Nicola are Making Waves in East Kilbride
25/08/17

Moray boat manufacturer receives £50,000 from government initiative to support businesses in Scotland

Business Loans Scotland has granted Buckie based ProBond Marine Ltd, manufacturer of Carson Rigid Inflatable Boats, a £50,000 loan. The funds will assist the company in completing the production of its newest model, featuring world firsts for its technology and hull design. It will also enable ProBond Marine Ltd to gear up to sell within the UK and export around the world.

Business Loans Scotland is a consortium of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, providing loan finance of up to £100,000 to new and growing small and medium sized businesses across Scotland.

Colin MacAndrew, 35, founder of ProBond Marine, has enjoyed sailing since childhood in his hometown of Elgin. Aspiring to run his own business and move on from the oil industry, 23 months ago he launched his own company, initially operating out of his parent’s garage. Last September he secured premises in Buckie when Barry Carson, the creator of Carson Rigid Inflatable Boats, came onboard.

The new partnership saw ProBond Marine take on the task of manufacturing Carson Rigid Inflatable Boats with a vision for a new design using a world-first mould for the boat. Determined to make his vision a reality, Colin received support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, (HIE) in the form of funding, and business advice from Business Gateway in Elgin, who facilitated an introduction to Business Loans Scotland. Colin’s subsequent application to Business Loans Scotland for £50,000 was successful. 

Speaking about the difference the loan will make to ProBond Marine Ltd, Colin said: “Ultimately, without the funding from Business Loans Scotland we would have been in a sticky position, so I was very relieved when I learned we had received the funding. We tried several other organisations for financial assistance but were turned down by them all. Business Loans Scotland has allowed us to continue with our exciting plans for ProBond Marine and Carson Rigid Boats.

“Looking to the future we hope to keep growing as a business, showcasing what we have on offer at trade shows and to markets further afield such as Scandinavia and America.”

Andrew Dickson, Fund Manager  from Business Loans Scotland, added: “It is well documented that access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger. I am delighted the fund has been able to support ProBond Marine Ltd with vital working capital to get started.”

John Cowe, Chair of Moray Economic Partnership and Board Member of Business Loans Scotland, said: “This is more great news for Moray and another example of the spirit of entrepreneurship and business leadership we are seeing drive the local economy forward. I am delighted for Colin and the team.”

At the end of 2016, the Scottish Government announced a new SME holding fund to give companies access to microcredit finance of up to £25,000, loans of up to £100,000 and equity investment of up to £2 million. The holding fund will distribute European Regional Development Fund investment worth £40 million, to be matched by a total of £60 million from delivery partners, including Business Loans Scotland. Private sector funding of £150 million will also be contributed, leading to £250 million being invested in 500 firms by December 2018, creating 2,000 jobs.

Moray boat manufacturer receives £50,000 from government initiative to support businesses in Scotland.
17/08/17

Buy-out Success for Kilwinning Engineering Firm

A Kilwinning engineering firm has entered a new era following a successful management buy-out, backed by Business Loans Scotland and Team North Ayrshire.

John Murphy, former General Manager at William Engineering, is now the proud owner of new firm, Murphy Engineering (Scotland) Ltd, based in Kilwinning’s Nethermains Industrial Estate.  

Murphy Engineering came to fruition earlier this year to facilitate the buy-out process of William Engineering following the retirement of owner, Maureen Harrison.

And on Friday, the new business welcomed Council Leader Joe Cullinane and members of the Council’s Business Growth Team to mark the beginning of its next chapter.

Established in 2007, William Engineering had been providing a complete specialist metal engineering service - from design to manufacturing. The business developed a first-class reputation in the manufacturing of stainless steel products for many clients including shop fitters, retailers, manufacturers, food producers and local authorities - to name only a few.  

For the last 10 years, John Murphy had been successfully running all of the day-to-day operations, building up an impressive reputation for delivering high quality products on time and to tight specifications.

But with the news earlier this year of Maureen’s plans to step down, fears were raised over the future of the business and its 12 employees.

John Murphy decided to take matters into his own hands and began exploring opportunities for a management buy-out. 

John approached Team North Ayrshire – the public, private and third sector partnership offering a single point of contact for business support within North Ayrshire. Team North Ayrshire worked with John to successfully secure financial assistance from Business Loans Scotland to aid his ambitious plans. 

The buy-out process of William Engineering was officially completed in June 2017 and marks the first ever buy-out assisted by Business Loans Scotland. John then transferred its assets over to his new firm, Murphy Engineering, to start a new chapter for the business.

North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been able to assist John with his bold and ambitious plans. Thanks to his determination it has allowed a successful firm to remain in business here in North Ayrshire and ensured job security for its hard-working employees.

“From meeting John and his team last week, it’s clear they all share his enthusiasm and passion for the future growth of the business.

“We will continue to work alongside them to ensure their growth ambitions are realised.”

John is currently working with Team North Ayrshire to develop plans for the future, including succession planning which will allow his son, a second year apprentice, to progress onto a graduate level apprenticeship - and maybe one day take over from his dad. 

John has also been identified for a mentoring programme, delivered through the Ayrshire Chamber, which will build his leadership skills and members of his team are also going through further development training.

John Murphy, Managing Director of Murphy Engineering, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the support and help given to me by RJ Hart Accountants, Team North Ayrshire and Business Loans Scotland. I can’t thank them enough for their hard work in ensuring my management buyout was a success. 

“I look forward to many more years providing a top quality service to all of our current customers and new customers going forward. I will, at every endeavour, put forth my utmost to make this new company a great success for all involved.” 

Andrew Dickson, Fund Manager from Business Loans Scotland, added: “It is well documented that access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger. I am delighted the Fund has been able to support Murphy engineering complete their management buyout and safeguard 12 jobs.”

Buy Out Success for Kilwinning Engineering Firm

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