Merit Health Ltd secures FW Capital backing to win £66m contract


SPECIALIST healthcare facilities firm Merit Health Ltd has secured major investment from FW Capital.

The Cramlington-based firm received £2m from the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund (TVCF) to enable it to fulfil a new £66m contract. The investment is the largest amount available from the TVCF.

Merit Health, the specialist healthcare division of offsite construction specialist, Merit Holdings, was launched in October 2020 with a focus on delivering healthcare facilities quicker and more sustainably. The company’s unique offsite manufacturing technology significantly reduces long-established building construction timelines, without compromising quality.

The North East-based company has already completed a number of projects within the health and life sciences sector, including expansion of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre in Stevenage, and a new sterile services facility for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

FW Capital made the TVCF investment to allow Merit to fulfil its bond requirements for a contract to design, build and fit out a CAR-T Cell Manufacturing facility, also sited in Stevenage, this time for US organisation, Autolus, in association with developers, Reef Group.

The funding represents the second time FW Capital has supported Merit Holdings, following on from a previous TVCF investment in 2015. All in all, the funding has helped secure nearly 200 jobs at the business.

The deal was facilitated by FW Capital Investment Executives Alison Routledge and Jordan McGorrigan.

Allison Routledge, Investment Executive at FW Capital, said: “We are delighted to develop our long-term partnership with Merit Health by providing this investment.

“Merit is a successful and ambitious company that has a strong ESG strategy, delivering low carbon solutions to its clients and this fits with FW Capital’s own strong environmental ethos. This significant investment has not only helped to secure a new contract to advance medical science but will also safeguard 70 jobs for the local area.”

Matthew McGrady, Merit Health Finance Director, said: “Merit is at the forefront of transforming medicine production facilities , collaborating with life science clients to design and build the next generation of industrially innovative facilities for cell and gene manufacturing by using a highly integrated and environmentally friendly approach.

“We are very grateful to FW Capital for their ongoing support. This investment will allow us to further the ambition of the cell and gene therapy industry to bring innovative new medicines to patients as quickly as possible.”

Managed by FW Capital, the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund is designed to help companies bid for work and is backed by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. It provides loans for performance bond guarantees. Performance bonds provide a financial guarantee to a client that a supplier will deliver on time and to standard.

The fund offers short-term debt investments from £100,000 to £2 million to support businesses bidding for contracts.

The fund is £10m but returns are reinvested with the aim to provide £45m of investment. 

The Tees Valley Catalyst Fund is managed on behalf of Tees Valley Business, which is the local growth hub for the Tees Valley and part of the Tees Valley Combined Authority.