Newly formed steel fabrication outfit MASfab has secured £25,000 in funding from the Finance for Business North East Microloan Fund.
The County Durham firm, which began trading in August this year, is a joint partnership between founding investors and directors, Sharon West and Paul Mitchinson.
From their Bowburn site MASfab provide steel fabrication, installation and site services to the oil and gas, renewables and marine industries.
The investment was secured through the Microloan Fund’s new managers, Rivers Loan - a trading subsidiary of Rivers Capital Partners.
Sharon West, director at MASfab said: “The investment from Rivers has brought us one step closer to securing the future of the company and our workforce.”
She added: “We’ve had a fantastic response from the industry, with some really valuable support from other companies who have provided us with very favourable terms.
“There is a lot of opportunity in this sector and we’re excited to be pursuing it.”
Both Ms West and Mr Mitchinson have worked in the steel fabrication industry for some years, Mr Mitchinson having started out in the shipyards.
The pair had been mulling their own venture for some time before they decided to launch MASfab.
Ms West explained: “Me and Paul have worked together in another capacity, and for some time we had been saying we should do our own thing.
“Eventually we decided to go for it, and it then became a question of whether we acquired an existing business or setup from scratch.”
From its Tursdale Business Park premises, MASfab has completed the mobilisation and demobilisation of marine vessels, as well as the fabrication of components for use in the offshore energy industry.
Nikita Bazko, fund manager at Rivers, added: “They have already demonstrated their commitment to the expansion of the business and in the first two months of trading they have already reached over £58,000 of revenue.
“Their combined experience and knowledge of the industry makes this a really attractive investment for us.”
The North East Microloan Fund works exclusively with North East-based businesses who have been unable to secure funding from traditional lenders.
Rivers Capital has £2.5m to loan to businesses in portions of between £1,000 to £50,000.
Run by Peter Hiscocks, head of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management Executive Programme at the Judge Business School in Cambridge, Rivers are providing fully subsidised finance and business courses to all applicants.