Fast-growing construction firm Fast-Form Systems has won a £200,000 contract with the Ministry of Defence to support the construction of three soldiers’ accommodation blocks on remote hilltop sites in the Falkland Islands.
The Grimsby-based formwork business, which has received £700,000 in backing from Finance Yorkshire since 2014, helps to reduce build times, costs and carbon use by supplying reusable, adjustable stainless steel brackets that hold boards securely in place for concrete pours.
Fast-Form Systems was selected by the MoD over a well-established rival because its products provided “ease of use, cost and time savings” and “excellent customer service”.
Finance Yorkshire has backed Fast-Form Systems with investments from its Seedcorn fund, which backs early stage, innovative ventures. The funding has enabled the business to expand from two to 11 employees, expand its marketing and invest in stock.
To date Finance Yorkshire investments have enabled companies to increase their turnover by £352 million and attract a further £187 million from other private sector sources. And through that activity, Finance Yorkshire investment has helped those SMEs to create and safeguard 10,670 jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Fast-Form founder and director Tony White said: “We won the MoD contract because we were able to act quickly, set up a trial and show them how simple and quick our product is to construct.
“The funding and continued support from Finance Yorkshire has enabled us to invest right across the board. As a result, we are winning contracts, hiring more people and developing new products – often bespoke solutions for clients.”
Capt DN Smith, of the Ministry of Defence, said: “After an exhaustive tender process which included a trial of the system against a well-known product, Fast Form was chosen for its ease of use, cost and time savings, and its excellent customer service.”
An independent study by the Grimsby Institute showed that Fast Form Systems reduces the carbon footprint of a concrete pour by up to 90 per cent compared to traditional timber shutters.
Fast-Form Systems only began trading in 2014, but Tony is already planning for international expansion, following a recent visit to Saudi Arabia with UKTI and discussions with potential distributors in New Zealand and the US.
The business was recently shortlisted for next February’s Construction News Specialists Awards in two categories – business innovation of the year and equipment supplier of the year.
Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, said: “Our Seedcorn fund was established to accelerate the growth of companies such as Fast-Form Systems, who benefit from hands-on support from a specialist investor. I’m delighted that our funding has enabled this innovative and exciting business to realise its potential for creating jobs and bringing business into the region.”
Finance Yorkshire investment manager Graham Davies said: “The latest contract from the Ministry of Defence is just the tip of the iceberg for what we believe Fast-Form Systems can achieve. We will work closely with Tony and his team as they continue to grow.”
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.