A Lisburn-based aerospace business has become the first company to receive funding from the £30m Growth Finance Fund. Causeway Aero Group has received £500,000 to support working capital and plans to create 17 new jobs.
Finance for the £30m Growth Finance Fund has been provided by the British Business Bank, Invest Northern Ireland and private investors, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC). The fund is managed by WhiteRock Capital Partners.
Established in 2016, Causeway Aero Group is a turnkey cabin interiors and airframe structures solutions provider of technical solutions with quality management, procurement, sub contract and assembly capabilities. The company currently employs 14 staff and recently secured work with Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems Ltd as well as in the mass transit sector.
Michael Rice, Managing Director of Causeway Aero Group, said: “The Causeway Aero Group was set up as a Tier 2 Aero Integrator, providing end to end engineering services along with end to end production management and final assembly to give our customers a single product, with a single point of contact. This has significant working capital requirements. We have continued to invest in the business moving to a new 20,000 sq ft facility in Lisburn earlier this year.
“We have further diversified the business by creating an aircraft galley and Interiors’ Division that will design, manufacture and deliver galley refurbishments. We see a real opportunity in this market and it will further enhance our R&D capabilities.”
He added: “The loan will assist us to fund working capital requirements to fulfil recent production contract wins with Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems and a major train manufacturer. We’re aiming to create 17 jobs in a range of roles from office to shop floor staff.”
Patrick Magee, CCO, British Business Bank, said: “The Growth Finance Fund is the first fund invested into by the British Business Bank that’s aimed exclusively at supporting smaller businesses in Northern Ireland. I’m delighted that WhiteRock has completed its first funding deal to provide finance to help Causeway Aero Group to continue its growth.”
William McCulla, Director of Corporate Finance, Invest Northern Ireland, said: “The Growth Finance Fund only became operational in December last year. For it to have made its first loan already just goes to show how important funds such as this, and Invest NI’s suite of debt and equity funds, are to providing businesses with access to much needed finance. Supporting businesses to grow through investment in capital and people is crucial to their success, and the health of our economy.”
Rhona Barbour, Investment Director at WhiteRock Capital Partners, said: “Causeway Aero Group has demonstrated an innovative approach to streamlining the service delivery system in the aerospace industry. The business has a clear strategy for future growth and we’re delighted to have been able to provide the necessary funding to support that.
“We will continue to work alongside banks, equity partners and asset-based funders to support businesses using the Growth Finance Fund, which will add to the extensive range of finance options on offer.”
The Growth Finance Fund will support loans from £500,000 up to £2m to established smaller growing businesses in Northern Ireland over the next four years. Companies seeking funding must be based in Northern Ireland and demonstrate existing growth.
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