After an increase in demand for its services, the pair decided to scale the business but needed working capital to grow partnerships with public sector clients. The company secured an initial investment of £250,000 in March 2019, going on to surpass a turnover of £1.75m in 2020. JH Mechanical then went on to secure a second NPIF loan in September 2020 to further support its rapid growth.
Investment from NPIF has enabled the family-run business to grow its roster of long-term client contracts from one to 12, as well as create 19 jobs in the Tees Valley region. The business is now a 35-strong team of commercial engineers and electricians who work alongside a contract management team with over 70 years combined project and programme management experience.
As demand for commercial gas engineers increases nationwide, NPIF funding has also led to JH Mechanical Service strengthening partnerships with local colleges to train and develop apprentices. As of now, 20% of its workforce is made up of apprentices, as the business continues to create new job opportunities for local young people and redress the skills gap.
Heather Heward, Financial Director at JH Mechanical Services, said: “It’s been an incredible journey over the past few years, as we have been able to bolster our team, secure some exciting fixed-terms contracts and see our business ambitions come to life.
“The support from the NPIF – FW Capital team has been fundamental to this success. From the first conversation, it was clear that they understood our business model and potential and could help us to deliver on our ambitions. We are proud to be making a difference to the Tees Valley community and regional economy, working to create new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for local people.”
Dave Hawkins, Portfolio Executive at FW Capital, said: “JH Mechanical Services has shown impressive growth since receiving its first NPIF loan back in 2019 and subsequently in 2020. John and Heather’s team has increased significantly and secured many large fixed-term contracts which poise the business for continued exponential growth. We’re excited to be part of this growth journey, as the business solidifies its presence in the commercial engineering industry further, from its Tees Valley home.”
Sean Hutchinson, Senior Manager at British Business Bank, said: “We are pleased that NPIF funding has supported JH Mechanical Services team and helped them scale. Businesses like JH Mechanical clearly demonstrate how, with the right support, finance can enable companies across the North to make that next big step in its growth journey.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “JH Mechanical is a fantastic example of our hard-working SMEs, which are the lifeblood of the Tees Valley. This funding once again shows the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is not only growing businesses but also helping them to support our apprentices and give local people the skills they need to succeed.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project (NPIF) is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank. This includes nominal allocations from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the North of England, including the Tees Valley.