Bristol engineering firm keeps UK food retailers operational with HSBC UK support

Covid-19 News | Financial Services | Funding | Retail | South West

A Bristol engineering firm which manufactures, installs and maintains environmentally friendly refrigeration systems has secured a £2m finance facility from HSBC UK to keep UK food retailers operational and safeguard the business amid the coronavirus crisis.

A1 Engineering, which works predominantly for large UK supermarkets, has used the funding to continue operating its service and repair workstream for food retailers which have relied heavily on functioning refrigeration cabinets during the outbreak, as well as to support cash flow while other workstreams have been turned off.

£1.1m of the HSBC UK funding has been secured from the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The remainder of the funding was made up of working capital facilities.

Dean Frost, Managing Director at A1 Engineering, said: “We’ve been working with HSBC UK for the last 18 years and in that time, the team has always been on hand to support our ambitious growth plans. This latest round of funding is no exception. Not only has it allowed us to continue operating critical parts of our business, but it means we’re in a strong financial position when things return to normal, allowing us to re-open workstreams that have been closed due to the coronavirus.”

James Shepherd, Head of Corporate Banking, Bristol, Wiltshire & Gloucestershire, HSBC UK, added: “A1 Engineering has enjoyed rapid turnover growth from £10m in 2016 to a projected £33m in 2020. Our funding, put in place by Relationship Director, Henry Moore, has allowed essential food retailers to call on A1 for much-needed repairs during a time of crisis, crucially with limited disruption to their business. We’re pleased to have given the business the certainty it needed to continue supporting its clients.”

A1 Engineering, which is based at the Bristol & Bath Science Park, is one of only a handful of UK businesses that has designed and developed low carbon, low energy refrigeration plant solutions that meets the needs of its customer base, which is required by law to remove harmful gases from its refrigeration systems.

The business has invested in innovative hydrocarbon glycol plant solutions and is planning further innovation in CO2 technology for refrigeration systems.

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