(L-R) NEL Fund Managers' portfolio director Jonathan Luke, ETA chairman Ken Marsh, Angus Allan, corporate finance partner at Clive Owen LLP, and NEL Fund Managers' investment director David Thomas
Chloe Shakesby

County Durham business secures £1m investment package to support growth

A County Durham ground investigation business has secured a one million pound investment package to help support its growth ambitions.

Exploration & Testing Associates (ETA) has established a new materials testing laboratory at its head office in Bowburn, from which it is working with a growing number of clients right around the UK.

Funding for the project has been secured through private investment, RBS and NatWest, while ETA has also worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure a £150k investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

It is also aiming to build its workforce up to around 70 people.

Chairman Ken Marsh commented: “The experience I’ve had of building up businesses in this industry will help our young team develop their commercial knowledge alongside their highly impressive technical expertise.

“We’re focused on providing the sorts of service levels that win repeat business from high quality clients and help to reinforce the company’s reputation for reliability, innovation and delivery.

“We’ve come a long way very quickly and our aim now is to take on more and bigger contracts right around the UK as the business grows, something for which the Bowburn laboratory is the ideal base.

“The NEL team had a refreshing approach to the investment process and clearly understood what we are aiming to achieve, which made what they offered the best option for our needs.”

David Thomas, investment director at NEL Fund Managers, added: “The ETA management team has an excellent industry track record and a clear strategy for how it is going to grow the business, which combined to make an attractive investment opportunity for us.”

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