By Daniel Hunter

HSBC has completed its first deal under its Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme, part of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) which was launched to support small to medium-sized enterprises grow their business.

Wrekin Circuits, a Midlands-based electronics company, has secured asset finance from HSBC with the help of a RGF grant to purchase new machinery that will enable it to increase its production capacity, expand its product offering to customers and take on new employees.

Wrekin Circuits offers high end printed circuit board manufacturing across a range of industry sectors, including defence, telecoms, medical and Formula One. It can produce prototype circuit boards within just 24 hours and end products are included in devices such as smart phones, sat navs and MRI scanners.

The company, which employs 36 staff at its premises in Telford, Shropshire, has agreed an asset finance arrangement with HSBC to purchase a ‘Schmoll X-Ray Drilling’ machine. Under the arrangement, HSBC is providing funding of £84,000, with the Regional Growth Fund providing £21,000. The new machine will result in new jobs being created over the next two years. One position has already been created to operate the new machine and further roles are expected to arise due to increased levels of business.

Jon Forster, HSBC’s Black Country and Shropshire Senior Commercial Manager who arranged the deal, said: “Wrekin Circuits is a superb, well-run small business and long-standing customer of HSBC. It is not happy to standstill; the management are keen to keep investing in the business and to push it forward, as this investment demonstrates. We are pleased to be supporting an ambitious local business, as well as the wider local economy.”

Wrekin Circuits Managing Director Steve Blower said: “The electronics industry is fast moving and cutting edge so it’s important that we stay ahead of the competition. This makes investment in the latest equipment and machinery vital. This machine will enable us to increase our capacity and widen the technical capabilities we can offer to clients. It will also produce production and quality benefits, saving us cost and production time, and making our business more efficient.”

The RGF is a £2.4 billion scheme operating across England from 2011 to 2015. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment. HSBC has agreed to facilitate £25 million from the fund to support small and medium-sized businesses that are recruiting new employees and want to purchase assets such as machinery and vehicles in order to grow.

HSBC’s ‘Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme’ enables qualifying businesses to receive additional funds of up to £500,000 to put towards the acquisition of assets, which would not be funded under normal commercial terms. In order to qualify for RGF funds a customer must be able to demonstrate that they will create additional employment, have a turnover of up to €50 million and that the asset purchase would not go ahead without RGF support.

The Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme provides grants of up to £25,000 for each additional full-time position created by the acquisition of a new asset.

Roy Harris, HSBC Regional Commercial Director for the Midlands, said: “HSBC is committed to supporting strong viable businesses and the Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme highlights this. The scheme provides critical support for businesses that are looking to grow and recruit, enabling them to purchase
the assets they need, to achieve their goals.”

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