A Truro company developing innovative spaces for living and working is the latest business to receive funding from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF).
ISO Spaces repurposes some of the world’s 14 million unused shipping containers into usable areas for commercial and community activity, as well as modular housing.
Since the business was launched in 2011 it has moved from converting containers into garden offices and gyms, to providing classrooms, commercial office space, bars and cafés, show rooms and pop-up shops for well-known brands.
The £850,000 CIOSIF loan will be used to almost double the workforce and recruit and train around 20 new staff as well as increase technical and production capacity and implement a marketing strategy to drive the growth of the business.
Ben Treleaven, ISO Spaces Managing Director, said: “Over the past eight years we have expanded our bespoke build service to meet the requirements of clients using shipping containers for many different uses. The CIOSIF loan comes at a crucial point, enabling us to progress our hotel offering, developing and deploying our new permanently portable modular product to deliver hotel units nationally over the next 3 to 5 years. This is an opportunity for significant growth and the funds will allow us to invest in our infrastructure and take on major new contracts at a time when traditional finance streams are not readily available to us.”
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is operated by appointed fund managers FSE Group.
Tim Williams, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, added: “Having built a reputation for delivering a high-end product, ISO Spaces has developed a niche solution that meets both the practical and aesthetic needs of its clients. The management team is in a strong position to take on the growing demand for its units and we look forward to supporting them in realising their ambitions to become a £10m turnover company in the next 2 to 3 years.”
LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “ISO Spaces is a fantastic example of a Cornish business creating high-quality employment for local talent. The company already has five Falmouth University graduates on its 23-strong payroll and the new jobs, set to be filled in the coming 18 months, will provide further opportunities in the county.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank commented: “This loan demonstrates how CIOSIF is once again assisting a local business to realise its growth potential and create jobs. Finding growth finance at the right time can be challenging for a small, expanding enterprise and we are delighted to see the investment fund doing exactly what it was set up to deliver.”
CIOSIF 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.
For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2