Newton Abbot fire safety firm geared for growth following funding

Funding | Growth | South West
From left – Relationship Manager Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Martin Potts, Firewatch Finance Director, shareholder and Director Kevin Smith and Firewatch Managing Director and shareholder Max Willey.

A Newton Abbot-based fire safety specialist is investing in new equipment that will boost its annual turnover by 50% in the next twelve months, following support from a £600,000 funding package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Firewatch, founded in 1999, supplies fire protection products including alarms, extinguishers and sprinklers to more than 2,000 commercial customers across the South West, South Wales and Midlands. The business also hosts specialist fire safety training sessions and fire risk assessments.

As a result of growing demand for its services, Firewatch secured a loan and working capital facility from Lloyds Bank to invest in its client fire training division with a new training rig and also purchase new sign-making and printing equipment.

The funding package forms part of the bank’s commitment to helping Britain prosper, and will see Firewatch grow its annual turnover from £3m to £4.5m by 2020, as well as increasing its workforce by 10% in the next two years, bringing the total headcount to 70.

Max Willey, managing director at Firewatch, said: “Fire regulations and safety precautions are essential to the running of any business, and our products and training are fundamental in ensuring our customers are operating over and above these regulatory requirements.

“Having Lloyds Bank by our side is giving us both the funding and confidence we need to grow. The financial products and the encouragement from the bank for us to achieve our goals has put us in a strong position for expansion over the next twelve months and beyond.”

Martin Potts, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Firewatch is an ambitious business that has grown significantly in recent years. Now it’s time for the team to build on this success even further. The support we have provided, which forms part of our pledge to lend £1.5bn to companies in the region this year, will be invaluable in giving the business the boost it needs to go to the next level.”

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