A successful Northumberland health & safety training business is giving itself plenty of room to grow with the help of a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.

ACG Compliance has opened a new 6,000 sq ft training centre on the Nelson Park Industrial Estate in Cramlington to enable it to increase the range and scale of practical training resources it can offer its clients.

A confined space chamber is currently being built within the new training centre to enable specialist courses in that area to be offered.

The ACG management team worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure the £50,000 project investment, which it is hoping will enable it to treble its annual turnover.

Two new jobs have already been created with the opening of the new training centre, while the business is also about to take on its first apprentice.

Founded in 2015, ACG Compliance delivers a wide range of health and safety courses, including site safety management, manual handling, working at height, fire safety, rope access, first aid and mental health, and is an approved provider for industry bodies NEBOSH and IOSH.

It works primarily with clients in the construction industries, though it has begun to win more work from companies in the renewable energy and oil & gas sectors.

Alongside its practical activities, the business offers a bespoke training matrix service to ensure clients that don’t have the in-house resources required to manage the delivery of staff training know that they are meeting their skills development and safety certification requirements.

And it has also developed a virtual training delivery platform to enable people working from home or away from their office environment to complete courses via Zoom.

Founder and managing director Mark Anderson says: “We’ve grown steadily over the last five years, but opening the new training centre will enable us to take a big step forward and we’re already getting a lot of positive feedback from clients that have seen what we’re doing.

“Our training courses help companies keep their staff fully up-to-date with the latest industry requirements and ensure they’re living up to their health and safety responsibilities.

“We’re able to take on responsibility ourselves for managing clients’

training provision where required, while the online training platform we’ve developed has been an extremely useful platform over recent months.

“The training centre gives us the opportunity to realise more of the business’s growth potential more quickly and we’re confident that it’s going to be an extremely well-used asset.

“The NEL team’s feedback on our business plan reaffirmed our belief that we were doing the right thing in looking to invest in the business, and working with them was a constructive and straightforward process.”

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.

Mike Guellard, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “ACG presented us with a clear vision of how the business could scale-up with our investment support and we’re very pleased to be adding them to our portfolio of ambitious investees.”

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.

NEL Fund Managers is actively looking for potential investees from Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland to put their investment ideas forward.