Growth fund provides capital and confidence for Washington firm Orwin

A fast-growing manufacturer is set to continue its commercial evolution after securing a second investment from the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund

Mark Irving with Michel Cook and Jane Siddle
Mark Irving with Michel Cook and Jane Siddle

A fast-growing manufacturer is set to continue its commercial evolution after securing a second investment from the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund.

Washington company Orwin, an automation and special purpose machine maker, was established in the 1980s to supply Nissan. But over time, the firm has grown to service much of the region’s manufacturing industry.

It works with a range of blue chip clients in the UK and overseas and in a range of industries, from aerospace, automotive and electronics through to food and drink, healthcare and plastics.

A six-figure investment in June last year from regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, which administers the Growth Fund, provided a springboard for much of the company’s development, helping to introduce a range of system changes and improvements across the business.

The changes made since that six-figure sum proved so successful in helping to bring larger contracts into the business that NEL has now provided a second investment, which will support the Orwin management team in their implementation of further improvements to the way they work.

The move is the third time Orwin has chosen to work with NEL, having initially won an investment from it in 2008 to support a company acquisition it was undertaking.

The company’s workforce has grown to almost 100 people, with a continuing emphasis placed on recruiting graduates and also apprentices. A new process and development team has been set up to work with clients at the beginning of a project design process.

Orwin finance director Michael Cook said: “Securing our first Growth Fund investment gave us both the capital and the confidence to implement a lot of the ideas that we’d long been talking about, especially around improving our business control and IT systems, and it’s helped us really change the face of the business.”

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