NPIF backing for suspension parts maker

Pictured (L-R): Pete Sorsby of Mercia, Karl Hodson of BTG Advisory, Mark Webber and Barry Cunliffe of Tinsley Bridge, and Mark Wilcockson of the British Business Bank

A historic Sheffield-based manufacturer of truck suspension parts has secured funding from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance. Tinsley Bridge can trace its history back almost 200 years and currently employs 200 people across three separate divisions. The company invented the parabolic tapered leaf spring used in more than 80 per cent of truck suspensions worldwide, and it continues to supply suspension stabiliser bars for all Volvo, Renault and Iveco trucks.

Tinsley Bridge also has a blades division, Tyzack Machine Knives, that manufactures products for the steel and scrap industry, and a fabrication arm that makes structures for energy, transport and infrastructure projects, including the powered hinges on the roof of the Wimbledon number 1 court and the stainless steel dampers used to quieten the noise of trains on the Crossrail project. The group has received a GBP300,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. This will provide a contingency fund to safeguard the business against any shocks arising from the Brexit process, while allowing it to pursue its longer-term growth strategy.

Mark Webber, who has been managing director of Tinsley Bridge since 2002, said: “We are following a growth plan to increase turnover by 25 per cent over the next few years and already have investment in place to support that. “However amidst the recent uncertainty, it became clear that we needed contingency funds to protect the business from unexpected shocks, for example to cover the need for increased working capital for stock in the event of a no-deal Brexit or, in the opposite scenario, a period of reduced sales while customers released the stockpiles they had built up. “Mercia quickly understood our issues and formulated a plan that would give us appropriate funding to secure the business through a potentially turbulent period while allowing us to press on with our longer-term growth plans.”

Pete Sorsby, investment manager with Mercia, added: “Tinsley Bridge is a historic Sheffield business with a strong management team, skilled workforce and a global customer base. The company is taking positive steps to deliver its future success. The funding will provide a valuable safety net for the business while allowing it to press ahead with its growth plans without interruption.”

Karl Hodson of BTG Advisory provided fundraising advice to the business.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project 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. 

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