A new Northumberland engineering business is aiming to build on a strong start with the backing of a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

Advanced Composites Engineering was formed at the start of the year by a team of experienced engineers who had previously worked together at another regional firm that was moving out of the sector.

The team managed to retain almost all of their former clients, including businesses in China, the US and Italy, as well as across the UK.

And having now brought its operations fully up to speed, it is looking to grow its turnover by around twenty per cent by the end of next year.

The Cramlington-based firm has worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure the £95,000 Small Loan Fund investment, which will allow it to secure the additional supplies of raw material it needs to service more and bigger clients, most especially across its home region.

It already boasts an 11-strong team, with two further jobs expected to be created before the end of the year and more to follow as it executes its growth plans.

Advanced Composites Engineering manufactures premium quality composite tubing to businesses across a wide range of sectors, from defence and aerospace through to sports equipment, marine and other commercial and industrial applications.

As well as creating composite tubes, it also offers additional services including surface machining, drilling, milling and turning which enables it to deliver assembly-ready components or products to its clients.

Don Robinson, director at Advanced Composites Engineering, says: “Being able to retain the great majority of the customers that we previously worked with says a great deal about the team’s reputation and the quality of service that we’ve always looked to provide.

“Having ready access to the supplies of raw materials we need is crucial to maintaining this reputation, and as we look to grow the business, we’re going to need to increase the stocks that we’re holding.

“This obviously requires a significant amount of capital, but having the North East Fund investment to hand means we’ll still have resources available to direct towards other parts of the business.

“We’ve already got a number of big projects in the pipeline and feel confident that growing our turning by twenty per cent in the coming year will be well within our grasp.

“We knew of NEL’s presence in the region and their team helped to make the investment application process straightforward and smooth.”

Mike Guellard, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Advanced Composites Engineering may be a relatively new business, but its management team has unrivalled experience within its sector, as well as the knowledge and drive required to build on the progress they’ve made this year.”

Part of the £120m North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £100,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.

It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.

The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.