A product design company in Sheffield has raised £500,000 to help it grow its 3D print production service and move into new markets.
NPIF—Mercia Equity Finance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) and is run by Mercia, gave funding to AME Group. AME Group designs products for brands like Jaguar, Vax, Hornby Railways, and Harris Brushes.
Its 3D printing service was first made available so that prototypes could be made. Last year, NPIF gave the company an initial investment of £750,000, which it used to buy new equipment. It now offers a low-volume production service with quick turnaround times.
It makes parts for clients in the aerospace, defence, and luxury yacht markets right now.
With the new money, it will be able to make more products, go after new markets, and meet the growing demand for its design services. Ian Jones, who is now the finance director, began AME Group in 1998. It has 28 employees now and plans to add about ten more over the next two years.
Chief executive Rich Proctor said: “3D printing is catching on quickly as it enables companies to shorten lead times by manufacturing small batches in the UK, test new product ideas and respond rapidly to market trends.
“Many businesses are also looking to redesign their existing products to reduce cost or make them more sustainable. And overall, there is a greater appreciation of products and their ability to differentiate a company in the market, rather than relying solely on digital assets.”
Maurice Disasi of Mercia added: “AME Group is recognised as one of the leading product design specialists in the UK and it is now establishing itself as a specialist in 3D print production. This latest funding will enable it to meet growing demand for its services.”
Sean Hutchinson at the British Business Bank said: “We are pleased that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is continuing to support high-growth businesses in the North, providing vital funding to aid companies like AME Group to meet market demands, and innovate their services.
“The development of AME Group’s production and their plans for product expansion is testament to the role NPIF plays in creating a more prosperous regional economy, through the businesses its funds invest into.”