Ecus
Tom Keighley

Sheffield environmental consultancy look to growth following investment

Environmental consultancy Ecus Ltd is looking to expand following substantial investment from Finance Yorkshire.

Equity Linked investment will be used to grow the Sheffield-based business on a national scale.

Following the appointment of entrepreneur Dr Peter Skipworth as chairman in 2010, the management team was revamped with new appointments to the Board including Erica Kemp as Business development director, Paul Pattison as financial director and Nick Birkinshaw promoted to managing director.

Dr Skipworth said: “Ecus responded to the downturn in construction through diversifying into growth markets such as wind energy, growing our business within the public sector and developing our Environmental Impact Assessment services.

“The Board believes that now is the time to look to the future and invest to significantly grow the business.”

Managing Director Nick Birkinshaw said: “Although Ecus already operates at a national level from Sheffield – for both private and public sector clients - Finance Yorkshire’s investment will enable us to open up to five other regional offices over the next five years.

“We also want to increase numbers of our local workforce and are aiming to double them. This in turn will ensure we can offer a high calibre and broad range of services across the country.

“In five years time, we have a projected turnover of £5m. Once we take on additional staff and open more offices, we can develop more disciplines, grow the margins – and therefore grow the business considerably.”

Paul Gower, Finance Yorkshire Investment Director, said: “I previously worked for Finance Yorkshire’s predecessor South Yorkshire Investment Fund and considered funding Ecus’ management buy-out back then.

“Having now re-engaged with the business, I was particularly impressed with the commerciality, ambition and commitment – all of the management team have invested in this funding round.

“They are looking to the future, not the immediate present, and investing so the company is better positioned to benefit from a return of growth.”

Paul added: “In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced a huge increase in the Annual Investment Allowance up from £25,000 to £¼ million - given this, I am hoping to see other companies looking to emulate Ecus’ decision to invest to grow.”

Finance Yorkshire provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m.

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