North East firm Handbag Clinic is creating new jobs after securing investment of £800,000.
A spin-off from leather restoration business Furniture Clinic, the firm was launched by Charlotte Staerck and her husband Ben in 2013.
Now an £800,000 investment from the North East Venture Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia, and private investors, will allow it to create around 20 new jobs at its premises in Burnopfield, County Durham. It will also further develop its technology and strengthen its senior management team.
Handbag Clinic restores around 700 bags each month and resells around 300, including luxury brands such as Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Gucci.
Jan Oosthuizen and Thea Tebble of Mercia worked on the deal.
Mr Oosthuizen said: “With sustainability now a central concern for many consumers, the fashion resale market has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years. Handbag Clinic is one of the leaders in the market. This funding will allow Charlotte and the team to build on its position and take the business to the next stage of its development.”
South Shields firm Ogel has followed its success on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme by raising money than £200,000 through crowdfunding.
The company converts plastic waste into materials which can then be used to build anything from a garden office or shelter to a flood defence system.
The new investment has come from 730 investors in 40 different countries and will be used to bring production back to the North East as it develops its products in the garden and DIY markets.
Founder Gary Giles said: “We’re sitting at 700-plus investors, which means we have a massive kickstart of gathering like-minded individuals. We’re bringing production to the North East. This is a huge focus for Ogel since our company is headquartered here.”
Sunderland’s Haskel Hydrogen Systems is set for growth after what has been described as a “significant” multimillion-dollar investment from its American owners.
The company makes and distributes high-pressure pumps, valves and package solutions for a raft of industries, and has received investment from Ingersoll Rand Inc to grow the business and fuel international expansion.
The investment will also help to create new jobs in Sunderland. In particularly, Haskel will use the investment to scale up its global hydrogen refuelling centre, with aims to treble the capacity of the site by the end of next year.
Managing director Stephen Learney said: “We are pleased to announce this investment from Ingersoll Rand, which demonstrates a commitment to further strengthen the development of our hydrogen refuelling business, infrastructure, equipment and people to meet increasing global market demand.”
Veterinary business Dragon Veterinary Centre has been snapped up by a national group as part of its plans to expand in the region.
Medivet Group has purchased the centre in Concord, Washington, from owners Andrew and Julie Henfrey for an undisclosed sum and is now looking at completing a number of further acquisitions around the region.
Medivet Group has been building its presence in the north of England and already owns practices in locations including York, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and Thirsk.
Ben Hanning, director of acquisitions at Medivet Group, said: “The North East is a priority area for us as we continue to build towards becoming a truly national operator and we’re very pleased to have made such a well-regarded practice our first acquisition in the region.”
Mark Adams and Ben Jackson of the corporate team at law firm Hay and Kilner in Newcastle provided legal advice to the Henfreys on the transaction.
North East firm Project Control Tools has secured £300,000 in funding as it relocates to County Durham and looks to grow.
The company has received an £185,000 investment from the Finance Durham Fund, alongside other financing, which will allow it to invest in its in-house product development to grow its portfolio and enhance its sales and marketing function.
The company delivers software solutions to enhance the delivery and profitability of projects, primarily for rail and construction industries. Its technology helps project management teams to streamline day-to -day tasks by saving time and reducing project spend.
Peter Smith, investment associate at Maven, said: “This is a great opportunity for the Finance Durham Fund to provide a growing software business with a relocation package to join the thriving technology space within County Durham.”
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