A North Tyneside renewable energy consultancy is powering on towards a brighter future with the help of a new investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.

A Greener Solution provides energy assessment, procurement, monitoring and efficiency services to a range of public and private sector organisations both within and outside the region.

The Wallsend-based firm secured the five-figure Small Loan Fund investment through regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to support its plans to more than double its turnover over the next two years.
Three new jobs have already been created as part of its expansion plans, taking the number of staff into double figures, and at least two more are set to follow in the coming months.

Founded in 2015 by directors Keian Sanchez and Andrew Wilkinson, A Greener Solution works across a range of industries, but has a particular specialism in the education sector and is continuing to expand the work it carries out with schools and colleges through its Greener Education initiative.

The scheme offers participants a unique set of tools which both reduce their energy bills and help to educate their staff and students on more efficient use of renewable energy.

Keian Sanchez says: “Andrew and I had both previously worked in the energy industry and saw opportunities to improve on the standard industry practices, most especially in helping clients enhance their environmental credentials by making better use of renewable energy.

“The business has grown equally quickly both within and outside the North East, and we think there’s a lot more we can now do to build on our achievements so far.

“Our Greener Education initiative has really struck a chord in the sector, from both a financial and an educational point of view, and we’re very much focussed on maximising the number of schools and colleges that we bring on board over the next couple of years.

“This additional capital will make a massive difference to the speed at which the business can grow and puts us at least a couple of years ahead of where we’d planned to be at this stage.

“The process for bringing in this investment was very simple and streamlined, and the support we had from the NEL team made it very easy to manage.”

Part of the £120m North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.

It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.

Mike Guellard, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Supporting the growth of the North East’s low carbon economy is a key objective for the Small Loan Fund.

“Backing A Greener Solution’s drive to build on its sound market position is an excellent example of how we’re looking to deliver on it and we expect to see more investments of this type following in the coming months.”

The overarching North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

NEL is also responsible for investing the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund, which offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.

For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.

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