An experienced Tyneside engineer is taking on the next stage of his entrepreneurial journey with the help of a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund, Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.
Mark Ranft set up Select Works to provide CNC precision components to clients in a range of different industry sectors, predominantly across the North East after previously running his own engineering business and deciding that he wanted to fill the shortfall of high-quality engineering.
He has obtained a £25,000 Small Loan fund investment through regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to enable him to bring in the precision CNC cutting equipment required to fulfil customer orders, invest in the latest technologies and support the recruitment of skilled operatives as the business expands.
Up to six new jobs are expected to be created by the South Shields-based firm over the next two years as it expands.
Mark Ranft, who has more than 30 years’ engineering industry experience, says: “I’d founded and led engineering businesses before and found that I missed doing so, so decided to set up Select Works to get back into that role.
“The flexibility and responsiveness we can offer around client requirements, and the range of specialist skills that we can call upon set us apart from the competition, and we’re already seeing new contracts coming in as a result.
“At this stage, we’re mostly looking at business development opportunities across the North East, but we’ll be gradually expanding our focus to look right across the UK and expect to see new jobs resulting as we grow.
“The investment option offered by NEL fit perfectly with our business’s needs and the team were very helpful in guiding us through the application process.”
Mike Guellard, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Repeat entrepreneurs like Mark are at the heart of the North East economy and he has both the engineering and business knowledge to make Select Works a great success.”
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 2,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.