Nottingham-based composite part specialist Far-UK has fully repaid its £455k Finance Birmingham investment early and is able to continue its ambitious growth plans. The initial finance was deployed in 2013 from Finance Birmingham’s AMSCI fund, which was set up as a funding competition designed to improve the global competitiveness of English based advanced manufacturing supply chains.
Far-UK was a member of the Composite Innovation Cluster (CiC), a larger £23m project with the aim to deliver a holistic supply chain model to extend throughout the composite community. CiC was one of the largest collaborative research and development programmes in the UK that involved 31 organisations and 17 projects, of which AMSCI provided £11.6m. Far-UK’s main objective within the programme was to set up a demonstration manufacturing facility focusing on composite component research and development.
In 2014, Far-UK used the funds to relocate to a 5,000 sq.ft facility to allow it to develop a revolutionary approach to design and manufacture composite structural components. The investment also helped to create multiple skilled jobs, assisting with the research, development and delivery of innovative lightweight products into international automotive markets. Its team has developed patented technologies, and have designed and made a range of prototype vehicle parts for international car makers and a range of European and Asian customers. The team have also developed an innovative process that has been demonstrated on low-cost carbon fibre wheel chair.
Following the backing from AMSCI, the flexibility and supportive nature of the investment has meant the business has grown to the next level; compared with other funding structures that may have impaired growth and cause Far-UK to fail in the CiC programme.
Kevin Lindsey, FAR UK said:
“The support provided through AMSCI has seen the business grow from strength to strength. We will continue to innovate and develop our revolutionary approach to the design and manufacture of lightweight structural composite components”.
Jeremy Taylor, Finance Birmingham said:
“Far-UK is a great example of the kinds of business AMSCI was set up to assist. We’re delighted to see such a successful outcome and it highlights how the flexible approach to utilising AMSCI funds can support business development and growth through early business uncertainties. We look forward to seeing Far-UK expand further and continue to develop innovative products in their specialist market”.