IAS Medical flying high with NPIF support

Lindsey McMenamin
Portfolio Manager

A successful Tees Valley air ambulance company is aiming to spread its wings with the help of new investment from NPIF - FW Capital Debt Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

IAS Medical provides state-of-the-art global air ambulance patient repatriation services as well as providing air and ground support to the NHS transplant community.

The company has a long-standing relationship with the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, regularly flying Specialist Transplant Surgical Teams and carrying time-critical organs for transplant.

The Darlington-headquartered firm has two aircraft based at Durham Tees Valley Airport, as well as a third at East Midlands Airport.

IAS Medical has now worked with fund management firm FW Capital to secure a £350,000 NPIF investment as part of implementing plans to further increase its global footprint and operational capacity.

IAS Medical’s current 35-strong team is expected to increase, with the company’s continued growth and expansion requiring the employment of additional aircrew, control room operations staff and administration support personnel.

In addition to its aircraft, IAS Medical has a fleet of six specialist Paediatric ambulances and is teamed with NECTAR, the North East Children's Transport and Retrieval Service to rapidly transport critically ill children to a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

It also operates seven specialist transplant support vehicles dedicated to transporting Specialist Transplant Surgical Teams and organs nationally.

In addition to IAS Medical’s air ambulance activity, the company utilises its aircraft to undertake private charter work and is a UK CAA Approved Training Organisation.

IAS Medical’s chief pilot, Captain Christopher Everrett, provides type rating and associated training to pilots from other organisations.

Mark Dodd, marketing manager at IAS Medical, says: “We have a well-established and respected brand that’s successfully working in a very specialised sector, and we have the experience, market knowledge and ambition to extend both what we do and where we work.

"The further operational development, continued growth and expansion of IAS Medical will undoubtedly contribute to the creation of new employment opportunities in the Tees Valley and further afield.

"FW Capital's position in the region was important to us when we explored the options for generating development capital and the FW Capital team provided excellent support to secure the investment.

Keith Barnes, investment executive at FW Capital, said: "IAS Medical has a strong track record stretching back over a decade and the management team's plans for further extending its operations are extremely impressive."

Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said: “IAS is a growing business that provides expert air ambulance services to a number of leading health organisations including the NHS, BUPA and the UK government. We are delighted that NPIF is supporting another Tees Valley company and having a positive impact creating jobs in the North of England.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This remarkable business is changing the lives of people across our region. I’m pleased they have secured the funding that they need to expand their vital work and create more jobs.

“This is another example of our money in the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund aiding businesses and giving them the assistance they need to succeed.”

Operating from the British Business Bank’s Sheffield head office, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides a mix of debt and equity funding (£25,000 to £2m).  It works alongside ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the combined authorities and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to support Northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, please visit http://www.npif.co.uk/.