A South Devon-based steel supplier has bought a 30,000 sq. ft. site in Saltash, with support from a £1.2m loan from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
The business started in a garage in 1981 and moved to Yalberton Industrial Estate in Paignton in 1990. Austen Knapman Limited has grown into a respected third generation family owned and run business. In 2015, the business extended its footprint by opening a branch to service Plymouth and Cornwall.
Following on from the success of the Plymouth branch, the business turned to Lloyds Bank for funding when an opportunity came about to purchase the 30,000 sq. ft. warehouse. A further £180,000 was invested to refurbish the building and make it suitable for steel stockholding, such as beams, reinforcing products, roof sheets and fencing.
The refurbishment included making a purpose-built trade counter, which stocks a large range of welding equipment, power tools, tube clamps, safety gear, industrial gases and other products.
Austen Knapman now expects to boost annual turnover by 5% to £4.4m in the next 12 months. The funding is part of Lloyds Bank’s pledge to provide £1.5bn to companies across the South West to help Britain prosper.
Heidi Gigg, managing director at Austen Knapman, said: “Our new building is an exciting opportunity for us to give our customers the excellent service that we strive for, with an enhanced delivery service which we trust will be second to none.
“Lloyds Bank has truly stood by our side throughout the process, and we wouldn’t have been able to invest to this scale and grow without this support. Now, with an increase in capacity, we will be able to continue to diversify the product portfolio offered to clients in the coming months and years.”
Andrew Blanchard, Relationship Manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Austen Knapman is a successful family firm and it has been a pleasure to work with the directors to support their growth plan enabling them to continue to provide outstanding service to their clients. Their new property will allow the firm to continue to build revenue while creating a solid foundation for growth in the years to come.
“We look forward to seeing what the next year has in store for the firm as it builds on its success to date.”