Green shoots of growth for office plant specialists with backing from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF)
A Lancashire company which supplies and maintains living plants
to businesses across the North West is expanding with a £150k loan
from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, a product fund managed by FW
Inleaf, based in Buckshaw Village, Lancashire, provides plant
displays and living wall installations to offices, hotels, car
dealerships and public spaces. Recent projects include a 50m2
external living wall for Manchester University.
The company was set up three years ago by husband and wife team
Charlotte and Daniel Atherton.
With demand for their products increasing, Inleaf needed funding
to expand. However, as the business operates in a niche area they
found traditional finance sources were not available.
Director Daniel Atherton said: “The business has grown quite
significantly since we started and with Christmas coming we’ve also
had lots of requests for festive installations so it was crucial
that we were able to cope with the increased demand.
The business was initially helped by Growth Lancashire and sign
posted to Prakash Patel from Access to Finance who referred them to
Andy Traynor at FW Capital. FW Capital provides loans between
£100k and £750k for growing businesses.
Since the loan the business has secured new contracts worth over
£50k, and taken on an extra member of staff taking the total number
of employees to five. They have also ordered two new vans and set
up a franchise.
Daniel added: “Prakash and Andy have both been a huge source of
support. They understood straight away what we were trying do as a
business and guided us through the funding process.
Everything was straightforward and we were able to access the money
Senior Investment Executive Andy Traynor said: “Inleaf is a
fantastic business which has taken an opportunity and run with it.
The management team are very experienced and our loan will help
them with the capital they need to grow.”
“We work very closely with the team at Access to Finance and
other business support organisations across the region which is
important in order to provide a clear and simple route of entry to
NPIF. This fund offers a vital source of alternative finance
and will have a significant impact on the local
Prakash Patel at Access to Finance said: “After the first
meeting it was clear that the business had significant opportunity
to grow following the successes achieved by the management team in
the last 12 months. They have the right combination of management
and industry experience which has led to their significant rate of
growth. The funding from FW Capital will enable the company to
expand its team, its service proposition and in the future support
the creation of further businesses in this sector.”
Sue Barnard, Senior Relationship Manager at British Business
Bank, said: “We are pleased that NPIF has supported Inleaf with the
funding it needs to achieve its growth targets. It’s great to see
that by working with the growth hubs, fund managers are able to
seek out these ambitious businesses and provide the vital funding
they need to expand and boost the economy across the Lancashire
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides microloans,
debt and equity investments, ranging from £25,000 to £2m to help a
range of small and medium sized businesses to start up, scale up or
stay ahead. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is
delivered by The British Business Bank.
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
For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund,
please visit www.npif.co.uk.