Equibalancer's Tammy Britton and NEL's Mike Guellard, plus Tammy's horse 'The Diplomat'.
Rebecca Wayman

County Durham equestrian goes for gold with £15k investment for horse nutrients startup

A local equine supplement manufacturer has won a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.

County Durham-based Equibalancer produces feeds for horses to get vital nutrients needed to stay healthy. There are many types available for different types of horses.

The family-owned firm is using a £15k investment - secured through regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers - to help convert a stable block at its base at Warren Farm Stables near Wolviston into a new manufacturing unit.

The money also could be used to invest in equipment that will help increase capacity.

Equibalancer, which also has an office in Sedgefield and which is investing around £50k in business improvements, was originally set up by equestrian competitor Tammy Britton.

She began making supplements for her own horses 15 years ago and gradually began to sell them to other riders at the events in which she was competing.

She commented: “We’ve only really been focussing on building the business seriously for the last couple of years and the success we’ve had so far has encouraged us to now step things up.

“It takes around 18 months of research, development and testing to bring a new product market and we remain fully committed to using only the best ingredients and no unnecessary fillers.

“We want to now bring the business into the mainstream and to be recognised as one of the leading brands within the equine sector.”

She added: “The new manufacturing facility and equipment are absolutely crucial to our development plans, and showing potential new stockists what we’re all about face-to-face is the best way to get the message across about the quality of our products.

“The NEL investment team was really easy to deal with, and the process of bringing in the investment was really straightforward.”

Equibalancer is planning to launch four new products before the end of 2019 and is looking to expand the number of retailers through which customers can buy them, with an open day for potential stockists at the new manufacturing facility to take place in October.

Mike Guellard, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, added: “Equibalancer is already very well-regarded within the equine world and the team has taken positive steps towards building on their achievements so far.”

The overarching North East Fund could provide financial support for over 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the North East.

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