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08/10/2015

Finance Wales’ investments provides North Wales economy with £3 million boost in the last 3 months

The economy of North Wales has received a £3 million boost in the last 3 months following a succession of investments in established local businesses by Finance Wales.

Oaking Developments, which is constructing the Oak Drive development in Colwyn Bay, and South Caernarfon Creameries secured a total of £2.8 million in investment while Flintshire-based Engineered Composites secured £200,000.

The investments are helping these established North Wales businesses to expand and create new jobs.  Their expansion is also expected benefit local partners and suppliers in North Wales.
 
Welcoming the news, Economy Minister Edwina Hart said:  “Businesses like these  make an important contribution to the Welsh economy as well as playing a key role in their local communities.  They provide stable jobs for local people and as they grow they create new job opportunities as well as opportunities for local suppliers.

“Oaking Developments, South Caernarfon Creameries and Engineered Composites all have significant investment plans and I’m pleased they are benefiting from a number of funds launched by the Welsh Government over the past five years that are designed to support business growth.”

The investments were structured by Finance Wales Senior Investment Executive in North Wales, Rhodri Evans. He said: “These investments are excellent examples of how the flexible funding options available from Finance Wales can help Welsh businesses achieve their growth ambitions and transform their future prospects.

“A well-structured investment package coupled with a strong expansion plan can allow established businesses like Oaking Developments, South Caernarfon Creameries and Engineered Composites to capitalise on their existing capabilities and go from strength to strength.”

Oaking Developments Ltd

Finance Wales has backed Oaking Developments with a £1.8 million loan from the Wales Property Development Fund to fund a major residential developemt of 19 two and three-bedroom apartments at Oak Drive in Colwyn Bay.

With the 18-month project expected to create up to 15 jobs, local suppliers will provide the majority of materials and local builders Hall & Jones will be undertaking construction work at the site.

Oaking Developments is led by Managing Director Alan Forsyth, an experienced property developer and investor with a strong track record, both locally and across the UK.  He has recently completed and sold a block of 85 apartments in Mansfield.

Commenting on the Oak Drive project, he said: “We’ve completed several developments in North Wales over the last few years and we were keen to get started on another development.  New-build properties sell well in the area and rental and resale values are also strong.

“The Oak Drive development is an excellent opportunity for us as its a large development in a prime spot in Colwyn Bay, but we knew we’d need the backing of an investor like Finance Wales to complete it.  Finance Wales understood our plans and were keen to back us and the loan from the Wales Property Development Fund has provided us with the capital to begin construction  at the site.

South Caernarfon Creameries

South Caernarfon Creameries (SCC), Wales’ oldest and largest dairy co-operative also secured a £1 million bridging loan facility from the Wales Capital Growth Fund  managed by Finance Wales to expand its cheese production facilities.
 
The site’s development is part of a long-term growth strategy to boost production of its own Dragon premium cheese brand which is sold by major UK food retailers and other added value sales channels.

The company is an important part of the North Wales’ agricultural sector and has been for over three quarters of a century currently employing 90 local staff.
 
South Caernarfon Creameries’ Managing Director, Alan Jones said: “South Caernarfon Creameries has been producing dairy products on the Llyn Peninsula since 1938 and we were keen to develop the business to be a best-in-class facility.  This investment is part of our continuous improvement programme and our objective is to grow our supply partnerships with both existing and new customers, both in the UK and into new export markets.

“The short-term funding package we received from Finance Wales helped us to finance the first phase of our expansion plans.  Work on the project is now well underway and we’ve  secured Welsh Government grants and other private funding to complete the development.  This is an exciting project for us and one which provides us with a clear strategic path whilst recognising the challenges that all of our stakeholders face in the current environment.”

Engineered Composites Ltd

Engineered Composites has been supplying Glass-Reinforced Plastic Products and other composite materials for over 25 years to a wide range of sectors including the building, construction and civil engineering, marine, rail and road transport and the utilities sectors.   The products it supplies are also used in many large infrastructure projects.

Finance Wales has backed Director, Nicki Thelwall-Jones, who recently took over the day-to-day running of the Flinshire-based company, with a £200,000 funding package from the Wales JEREMIE Fund.

“Engineered Composites is a well-established, reputable company with a extensive customer base. We’ve grown consistently over the years and have plans for further expansion. 

“We’re now in a strong position to build on our success and Finance Wales’ backing will be instrumental in enabling us to boost our product range thereby assisting us to support existing customers and to target new ones.  We’ll also be increasing our online presence and enhancing our customer relationship management,” Thelwall-Jones explained.