11th October 2018
Zeeko, a Leicestershire-based manufacturer, has received £110,000 from Enterprise Loans East Midlands (ELEM) and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).
Following this investment, the 18-year old firm is to diversify its operations; moving from traditional manufacture of machinery for polishing high precision optics, to the design, development, manufacture, testing and software development of a new product range.
While already active in a number of international markets including China, Japan and India, this diversification will see the firm produce a wider array of items such as turbine blades and orthopaedic joints.
Richard Freeman, director at Zeeko, said:
“Zeeko was born out of necessity with changes in the market at the turn of the millennium. I am a mechanical engineer by trade and have been in the industry for more than four decades, so I have seen first-hand the shift in business as manufacturing moves overseas.
“There’s a very limited market for our products in the UK, which means funding through traditional lenders has been difficult to access, as exporters are not looked upon very favourably. Couple this issue with being an SME, and it’s almost impossible. This is why funding streams such as MEIF are absolutely vital for businesses like ours, and the team at ELEM has been instrumental in our business growth.”
Through Enterprise Loans – the fund manager responsible for the delivery of the MEIF Small Business Loans fund in the East and South-East Midlands – Zeeko has been provided with this finance injection and is expected to achieve a £6 million turnover this year.
Sukhveer Chirrimar, loan fund advisor at Enterprise Loans East Midlands, said:
“This is a quality tech and manufacturing company that the East Midlands should be proud to have operating here. This funding is a vital part of Zeeko’s financing strategy, helping it to retain highly qualified and skilled professionals within the region. In my opinion, this is exactly the type of business MEIF has been established to support, in a situation where banks and traditional lenders do not.”
Lewis Stringer, senior relationship manager at the British Business Bank, said:
“Since the MEIF was launched, the Leicester and Leicestershire area has proven itself to be a ‘hotbed’ of innovative technology businesses with exciting growth potential. Zeeko is clearly such a business.
“I would encourage any company planning investment to follow its example and contact ELEM and our other fund managers to discuss the finance options available to them.”
Kevin Harris, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership chair, said:
“As one of the ten Midlands LEPs supporting the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, I am delighted to see another Leicestershire business has successfully secured the investment they need to develop and grow.
“It is essential that local small businesses can access the finance they need to expand in to new markets and create jobs that all contribute to the vibrancy of the business community across Leicester and Leicestershire.”
The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF, as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
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