Ten new jobs as Speedings sews up £100,000 investment deal

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Sunderland's oldest firm is looking forward to a bright future after securing new funding.

Speedings Ltd has been awarded as a six-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund, supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

Robert Hammal (left), managing director at
Speedings Ltd, with Mike Guellard of NEL Fund Managers Robert Hammal (left), managing director at
Speedings Ltd, with Mike Guellard of NEL Fund Managers
Robert Hammal (left), managing director at Speedings Ltd, with Mike Guellard of NEL Fund Managers
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The company manufactures and supplies robust, innovative textile products for the emergency services and industrial clients including Nissan and Rolls Royce.

The firm can trace its roots back almost 200 years to a factory on the banks of the River Wear and is currently based on the Leechmere Industrial Estate.

The management team worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to bring in a £100,000 investment, which will support the development of further products and the evolution of a new knowledge transfer partnership with Sunderland University.

A full e-commerce website is currently being developed, while the company will be increasing its presence at trade shows and putting more resources behind enhancing its own brand product range.

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Speedings is now looking to increase its annual turnover by around 50% over the next three years, with up to ten new jobs expected to be created during that period.

Plans for investing in larger premises are also being considered for the medium term.

Managing director Robert Hammal said: "We have a very strong market position that’s based on the quality of the products we supply and an industry heritage that’s unmatched by any of our rivals.

"The new products we’re developing and the technologies that we’redeploying within them are giving customers the visibility and protection they need in very challenging emergency situations, and we’re continuing to innovate to make them even more effective.

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"Putting additional resources into product development, full e-commerce capability and marketing will help us reach new customers, both at home and overseas, and will help us me the ambitious targets that we’ve set for ourselves.

“We found that the NEL team wanted to get to know us and the business in detail, and wanted to stay involved as we put our growth plans into action, which benefits us all round.”

Mike Guellard, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, added: "Speedings is combining an unrivalled industry heritage with a 21st Century outlook to create products that its customers can rely on when they need them most.

"The management team outlined a clear and robust growth strategy that will take the business through the next stage of its development and we’re very pleased that we’re going to be part of it."

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Part of the £130million North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9million North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of up to £100,000 to businesses in Tyne and Wear, Durham and Northumberland.

For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.

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