L-R: Simon Berry, Graeme Pringle and Andrew Wright
L-R: Simon Berry, Graeme Pringle and Andrew Wright
Richard Bell

Northern Powerhouse investment for Wirral-based advanced manufacturer

Advanced manufacturing company Plura Innovations has secured £350k funding to extend its facilities.

The firm will use the backing from NPIF - FW Capital Debt Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, to expand its manufacturing centre on the Wirral.

Plura, which develops products made from recycled plastic and composite materials, has previously used a facility in China for the bulk of production.

The £350k NPIF cash is part of a wider £1m funding package for Plura Innovations, which supplies products to a customer base that includes Network Rail, Royal Mail and UK Power Networks.

Founded in 2013, Plura is led today by managing director Andrew Wright and co-directors Graeme Pringle, Colin Laidlaw and Greg Parkin. The firm has a turnover of £1.2m but expects that figure to double this year.

Andrew Wright said: “Bringing our manufacturing back to the UK brings production closer to what will be our largest market and also cuts costs. We can also control the raw materials better as they are more readily available and much better quality here.

“Our products include innovative security fencing made from lightweight composite materials which are very safe to use as they don’t conduct electricity.”

He continued: “This is really important particularly to companies that have workers on sites and members of the public nearby, where there is a high risk of electrocution such as in the rail and power sectors.

“We needed funding to enable us to increase our manufacturing capacities and capabilities and invest in live testing sites so that we can demonstrate the products to potential customers.”

Speaking further, he said the investment will enable the company to launch its “lightweight but strong pre-formed access chamber system in the UK which previously was only available to overseas customers”.

He added: “We expect to see strong growth over the next two years with business increasing significantly.”

FW Capital senior investment executive Simon Berry commented: “Plura has been set up by a high calibre management team all of whom come from large companies in this sector and bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise.

“They are also extremely committed having injected a significant sum of their own cash towards building up the business and we were therefore very happy to add our support through this investment.”

The NPIF is run by British Business Bank, whose director Grant Peggie said of the deal: “Investment through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund are supporting advanced manufacturing companies in the North of England, a key sector of the Government’s Industrial strategy.

“We are delighted that FW Capital has supported Plura on an expansion project that will not only generate jobs in the region but raise the profile of the North in this up and coming sector.”

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