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Investment takes business to new horizons

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An enterprise which began as a boutique business in 2010 has secured a £300,000 Equity Linked Investment from Finance Yorkshire.

Wildacre Cosmetics, based in Bingley, will use the investment from the funding body to recruit key technical, finance and warehouse staff, invest in new machinery and provide working capital.

£200,000 has been invested to date, with a further £100,000 to be made available later this year.

Wildacre Cosmetics specialises in the contract manufacture of cosmetic and toiletry products, using essential oils and natural ingredients.

Every element of the process is completed in-house, meaning total control over design, development and manufacture.

Managing director Steve Richardson set up the business in a small industrial unit with Steve Meredith, where they developed and produced cosmetic products for three customers.

However, what he originally envisaged as a boutique business quickly evolved into something much bigger.

The first-year business plan targeted a £250,000 turnover from three clients; first-year actual performance was £375,000 from a client base of eight.

In 2011, the operation moved to a commercial base in Yeadon, before moving to its current 11,500 square foot premises the following year.

The business has since found itself at a crossroads – continue trading as a lifestyle business or seek investment in order to scale up.

Steve Richardson said:

“We are very good at what we do, which is reliably bringing products to market.

“From the bare bones of an idea, a client can very quickly have a tangible quality product in their hands.

“Yet we had reached the point where our capacity was constraining our ability to serve new clients.

“This injection from Finance Yorkshire will enable us to really take the business to the next level; investing in machinery, a new laboratory and key personnel.

“We take a huge amount of satisfaction from developing and bringing a new product to market for a client, and this will allow us to do this at a far higher level than ever before.”

Finance Yorkshire investment manager Katharine Braim said:

“Wildacre Cosmetics is a great example of a Yorkshire business focused on quality, value and innovation.

“It spotted a niche in the market and filled it with a full-service offering, providing a one-stop-shop for formulation, manufacture, branding and packaging.

“We have every confidence that this investment will set the business on the road to real expansion.”

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.

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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Steve Richardson, director of Wildacre, Katharine Braim of Finance Yorkshire, and Steve Meredith, director of Wildacre

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