Francis Brown

"Securing the backing of FW Capital enabled us to win this major contract on top of others, safeguard jobs and to continue to grow our business."

Jamie Brown, Chief Executive, Francis Brown Ltd

Independent fabrication and engineering firm Francis Brown Ltd secured investment to help it join a major mining project.

The Stockton-based firm received a six-figure sum from the £10 million Tees Valley Catalyst Fund (TVCF), managed by FW Capital on behalf of Tees Valley Business, which is the local growth hub for the Tees Valley and part of the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

The funding supported Francis Brown to fulfil bond requirements for a contract worth over £1 million to fabricate 400 metres of mine shaft casings for Strabag AG at the Anglo American Woodsmith Mine project, in North Yorkshire.

The Advance Payment Guarantee and Performance Bond meant the company could enter into the contract, delivered in April 2021, and retain its working capital.

This is the second major contract that Francis Brown has secured in relation to the Woodsmith Project, having already fabricated high tolerance steel formwork for casting of concrete for the mine shafts. In March 2021 the business secured funding from NPIF – FW Capital to provide working capital.

Francis Brown Ltd was founded in 1903. Now in its fourth generation of family ownership, the business is run by brothers Simon and Jamie Brown and MD Mark Roddy, who was appointed in 2017. The company’s services include design and manufacture of pressure vessels, tanks and structural fabrications and their installation at customers’ sites.

The Tees Valley Catalyst Fund closed to new applications on 31st March 2023. The first NPIF investment phase has now completed with the British Business Bank launching the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II in March 2024.

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