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Investment makes Centre Stage Uniforms dressed for success

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A West Yorkshire business which supplies uniforms to brass bands around the UK and Europe, is set for further international expansion, having secured a £275,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire’s Equity Linked Fund.

Centre Stage Uniforms, based in Mytholmroyd, was formed in 2009 as a sideline business by brass band enthusiast Martin Gernon.

After securing orders from bands and from a sizeable corporate organisation in 2011, he decided to run the business full-time.

With 20 years’ experience in textiles and overseas sourcing, and himself a brass band enthusiast who was Chairman of the world famous Fairey Band, Martin was ideally placed to establish a business model which focuses on high quality, low cost uniforms, combined with exceptional customer service and guaranteed lead times.

Centre Stage Uniforms  is using the cash injection from Finance Yorkshire to invest in working capital and equipment to meet the demands of its growing customer base, and to expand internationally.

Commenting on the investment, Martin Gernon said:

“I have a lifelong involvement in brass bands, and I understand only too well the financial restraints that they are under.

“Falling concert and commercial revenues, combined with rising costs make it difficult for many bands to make ends meet.

“Uniforms are one of the biggest expenses and UK suppliers are expensive.

“I have spent years sourcing quality products in the Far East to offer UK bands a high quality product at overseas cost.”

He added:

“As a fast growing young business we are delighted to have secured this Equity Linked investment from Finance Yorkshire.

“It will enable us to achieve our growth ambitions considerably sooner than would otherwise have been the case.”

Finance Yorkshire investment director Paul Gower said:

“Centre Stage Uniforms has previously secured a Business Loan from Finance Yorkshire, and has grown sufficiently in both scale and ambition to take on an Equity Linked investment.

“Attracting significant corporate contracts, and meeting the high ethical and quality standards that go along with it, shows the potential of the business.”

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

To date Finance Yorkshire has made 543 investments totalling over £67.5 million.

The project is supported financially by the European Union.

It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from UK Government and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

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Pictured from left are Robin Watson, non executive director; Martin Gernon of Centre Stage Unifoms, Paul Gower of Finance Yorkshire and Andrew Jackson, non executive finance director

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