(L - R): John Suggate and Geoff Hodgson of Formula Plastics with Jonathan Armitage of NEL Fund Managers.
Matthew Neville

County Durham manufacturer to create 20 new jobs via £100k NEL funding renewal

A County Durham injection moulding firm has renewed its longstanding relationship with the North East’s “most active business investor” as part of its plans to double its turnover by the end of next year.

Formula Plastics has worked with NEL Fund Managers to bring in a £100k investment from the North East Small Loan Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund via the Recovery Loan Scheme as it looks to regain ground lost during the pandemic.

Part of the £120m North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10k and £100k to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.

The Newton Aycliffe based firm manufactures high tolerance precision components which are used by companies in a growing range of sectors, including automotive, engineering, lighting and electronics.

Having diversified its customer base and enhanced its business development resources, Formula Plastics is now aiming to take its current £2m turnover up to around £4m by the end of next year, with up to 20 new jobs set to be created as the business grows.

Formula Plastics’ relationship with NEL goes back to 1996, when it provided start-up funding to get the business going. The new Small Loan Fund investment is the seventh time that the two organisations have worked together, with Formula having successfully exited their most recent agreement in 2015.

John Suggate, chairman at Formula Plastics, said: “In common with many companies, the last few years have proved challenging for us, but we’re now seeing signs of improvement across all the sectors in which we’re active and want to capitalise on the opportunities this provides.”

Geoff Hodgson, managing director at Formula Plastics, added: “We have a highly experienced and long-serving workforce that has the skills and knowledge required to not only deliver the specialist services that our customers require, but also to help them solve problems that would otherwise impact on their business’s operations.

“Our relationship with NEL has been a crucial factor in the business’s success over more than a quarter of a century and it made clear sense to talk to them once again about this latest stage of our development.”

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