A successful North East consulting engineering firm is set to expand and create new jobs after securing a six-figure investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.

TGA Consulting Engineers designs mechanical and electrical services for a wide variety of new and existing buildings, and has particular expertise in using low carbon technologies and techniques to improve buildings’ environmental performance.

The Durham-headquartered firm, which celebrates its 60th anniversary next year, has been involved with landmark projects ranging from Hexham Abbey, the British Museum and Durham Cathedral through to Hitachi Rail’s manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe and Durham University’s new Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences building.

Recent remodelling and refurbishment work on the Grade II listed Durham Miners’ Hall in Redhills has seen a multi-disciplinary TGA team using innovative engineering solutions to enable the Durham Miners’

Association to put the Hall to new uses, including conferences and performances, while also preserving the historic building fabric and ceasing the use of fossil fuels on the site.

After working with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure the £250,000 investment via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, TGA is now aiming to extend its presence in Yorkshire, the North West and the South East, and to take advantage of the growing importance of environmental performance within the construction sector.

Six new jobs have already been created by the business this year, taking the total workforce past the 40 mark, and more are expected to follow in the coming months.

Part of the investment will be directed towards improving the business’s own technology infrastructure, while new operational structures are being put in place to support long-term succession planning.

The business will also continue to develop its services across a range of emerging specialist skills, including building performance, specialist lighting design and 3D coordination, which ensures that all the different elements of a given project work smoothly with each other without any design issues arising.

TGA also has offices in Newcastle, Leeds, Stevenage and London, with its different teams working seamlessly together on projects across the country according to the skills and expertise required for each one.

Graeme Carr, director at TGA, says: “We’re working across a broad spectrum of projects in many different market sectors, but what they all have in common is the need to integrate the building services they require in the most environmentally sensitive ways possible.

“The use of energy in new and existing buildings is a real priority for everyone involved with the built environment.  With more and more of our clients adopting a net zero carbon approach with the Climate Emergency at the forefront of their minds, our work is increasingly informing the wider architectural design of buildings to allow buildings to be constructed with the lowest possible carbon footprint.

“Environmental performance in heritage buildings is equally important, but new building services technologies have to be deployed in a sensitive manner which is sympathetic to their surroundings while also securing the required outcomes.

“This all combines to represent a huge opportunity for our business to grow significantly, with teams working collaboratively across our different offices to ensure the right expertise is allocated to each project.

“We’re building our capacity to take on more and bigger projects across the UK, with recruitment into our North East offices being a priority, and we’re also developing our own staff to give them the grounding they need to go on and achieve their professional qualifications, including through degree apprenticeship schemes.

“We looked at different options for securing the growth capital we needed and the NEL team were clearly the most interested in the work we do and how we do it.

“It felt like the team was fully engaged with us right from the off and keen to maximise the environmental impact that their investment could make alongside the commercial side of things.”

Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “TGA offers the ideal combination of a long track record, industry experience and practical application of modern building technologies.

“Investing in low carbon businesses is a key priority for the North East Fund and we’re very pleased to have another firm with this sort of environmental focus into our investee portfolio.”

The North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.

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.