A North East home improvement firm is laying the foundations for future expansion with the help of a six-figure investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund Supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

NE&C Windows & Doors designs, manufactures and installs a range of high-quality windows, doors, conservatories and balustrades for commercial and domestic clients across the North East, Cumbria and Scotland.

Operating from a 16,500 sq ft unit on the Glover Industrial Estate in Washington, NE&C Windows & Doors already works with many of the North East’s best-known housebuilders, as well as several of its largest local authorities.

The business was recently the subject of a management buy-out, with its senior team acquiring it 20 years after founders Ed and Heather Ramshaw set it up.

After working with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to bring in the £150,000 investment, the new management team is now aiming to increase the range of products it supplies and target new markets across the UK.

It is increasing the marketing activity behind its growing range of fire protection-related products for commercial premises such as assisted living facilities, care homes and offices, while it is also looking to take advantage of opportunities to grow its customer base for its range of high-quality composite doors.

Four new jobs have already been created as a result of the investment, with more expected to follow as the growth plan is rolled out and the business works towards an initial ten per cent year-on-year increase in its turnover.

The NE&C Windows & Doors management team was introduced to NEL by David Wilson and Jenny Waters at Clive Owen LLP in Darlington and was advised by Craig Malarkey, Jessica Stevens and Niamh Wilson at Durham law firm Swinburne Maddison during the investment process.

Steven Allen, managing director at NE&C Windows & Doors, says: “The quality of the products we design and make, the unequalled customer service standards to which we work and the expertise of our highly-skilled team has been the basis of NE&C Windows & Doors’ success for the last two decades and remains so under the new leadership team.

“The firm’s focus has predominantly been in and around our home region up to now, but we think there are opportunities in other parts of the UK that we’ll be looking to go after in the future.

“Introducing new products like our fire-protection range and building our presence in the composite door market will help us achieve these growth ambitions and create new North East jobs.

“We’re already ahead of where we expected to be this year and we’ve now got everything we need in place to achieve our growth ambitions.

“NEL’s funding model offered us the flexibility we needed, and the team helped to make the process of bringing in the investment very straightforward.”

Jane Siddle, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “The new management team has very clear plans for how it intends to grow a business that has already achieved long-term, consistent success, and it’s exciting for us to be part of the next stage of its development.”

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 £130m 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.

NEL Fund Managers is also responsible for managing the £9m North East Small Loan Fund, which typically offers loans of up to £100,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.