Belfast Telegraph

Causeway Aero Group to expand with backing of £500k from growth fund

From left: Mark Sterritt, British Business Bank; Michael Rice, Causeway Aero Group; Sarah Newbould, British Business Bank; Rhona Barbour, WhiteRock Capital Partners, and William McCulla, Invest NI
From left: Mark Sterritt, British Business Bank; Michael Rice, Causeway Aero Group; Sarah Newbould, British Business Bank; Rhona Barbour, WhiteRock Capital Partners, and William McCulla, Invest NI
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

A company set up by local aerospace firms has announced plans to create 17 jobs on the back of a £500,000 investment from the Growth Finance Fund.

The Causeway Aero Group was established in 2016 by companies including Moyola Engineering and Denroy Plastics to help bid for bigger contracts.

The group offers various aerospace products from cabin interiors such as seating to airframe structures.

It has been given a fresh lease of life since the appointment of new managing director Michael Rice last summer.

In October it acquired Dundonald company Belfast Aircraft Stress Engineers (BASE) Ltd, and earlier this year Causeway Aero moved into a new 20,000sq ft facility in Lisburn.

It currently employs 14 staff and recently secured deals with Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems Ltd and a major train manufacturer, understood to be Bombardier Transport.

Now the engineering venture has become the first business to receive financing from the £30m Growth Finance Fund.

Managed by WhiteRock Capital Partners, the fund was set up by the British Business Bank, economic development agency Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee, which operates a pension scheme for public sector workers.

Mr Rice said he has further diversified the business by creating an aircraft galley and interiors division which he said will design, manufacture and deliver galley refurbishments.

"We see a real opportunity in this market and it will further enhance our research and development capabilities," he said. He added that the loan will help fund its working capital requirements on the back of its recent contract wins.

"We're aiming to create 17 jobs in a range of roles from office to shop floor staff," he said.

Patrick Magee, chief commercial officer of the British Business Bank, said: "I'm delighted that WhiteRock has completed its first funding deal to provide finance to help Causeway Aero Group to continue its growth," he said.

William McCulla, director of corporate finance at Invest NI, said: "The Growth Finance Fund only became operational in December last year.

"For it to have made its first loan already just goes to show how important funds such as this are."

Rhona Barbour from WhiteRock Capital Partners said: "Causeway Aero Group has demonstrated an innovative approach to streamlining the service delivery system in the aerospace industry.

"The business has a clear strategy for future growth and we're delighted to have been able to provide the necessary funding to support that.

"We will continue to work alongside banks, equity partners and asset-based funders to support businesses using the Growth Finance Fund, which will add to the extensive range of finance options on offer."

Belfast Telegraph

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