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Sphere Global exports boosted by government backing

Automation specialist Sphere Global in Londonderry is among firms benefiting from government finance guarantees for exports, it has emerged.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) said that had it provided £770,000 to support a total of £4m in exports from Northern Ireland in the last year. Sphere Global, which specialises in automation solutions, said a guarantee from UKEF enabled it to draw down £1.2m in funding from Santander. That loan allowed it to carry out bigger contracts around the world.  

Chief executive Sean McNicholl said: “This funding has enabled us to set our ambitions significantly higher. This is a huge step for Sphere Global, and will really increase our outreach and business opportunities across our selected sectors, giving our potential clients the financial security they need when considering large scale contracts.”

UKEF’s annual report and accounts were published yesterday. Its report said the number of exporters benefiting from its support had increased by 23%. Elizabeth McCrory, export finance advisor for Northern Ireland, said: “UKEF is here to help make exports happen. Our support for companies like Sphere Global in Northern Ireland shows how we can help UK businesses realise their ambitions to grow by selling overseas.”

UKEF chief executive Louis Taylor said: “UK Export Finance’s mission is to ensure that no viable UK export should fail for lack of finance or insurance from the private sector.

“This year’s results show that we are making significant progress in reaching a wider customer base.

“We will continue to be innovative and flexible, anticipating the needs of exporters and finding ways to meet them.”

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