From left to right: Kerry Haughton of The FSE Group with Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman Alun Rogers, Wade Ceramics managing director Paul Farmer, Staffordshire Chamber CEO Sara Williams and Ryan Cartwright of the British Business BankWade Ceramics
, based in Stoke-On-Trent, has secured a £400,000 investment to help safeguard the jobs of its current staff and enable the company to enter new partnerships and expand its product range.
The company secured the finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund
(MEIF), provided by The FSE Group, Debt Finance Fund, and backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Based in the heart of Britain’s ceramic industry, often referred to as the potteries, Wade Ceramics has been producing practical and ornamental homeware items for over 200 years.
The beloved company brings to life iconic brands such as Cadbury, Boots and the Mr Men and Little Miss range by creating collectables which are sought after around the world. Most recently, the company’s quirky iconic Gluggle Jug product was featured on celebrity Gok Wan’s “Isolation Nation” Instagram feed.
Paul Farmer, Wade Ceramics managing director, said: “The year 2020 was a complete mixed bag for Wade, with certain markets struggling with the impact of the worldwide pandemic, offset by other markets showing rapid growth. The Gluggle Jugs we both manufacture and sell are growing exponentially and we need to increase production and staff. This loan will help in this area as well as helping to re-build our other markets as we move forward into pre-pandemic levels of demand.”
Kerry Haughton, investment manager at The FSE Group, which manages the MEIF Debt Finance Fund, added: “Paul and his team are highly experienced and passionate about staying at the top of their game. Wade’s Ceramics are all carefully crafted and their latest designs keep up with current trends which appeal to new customers. Who can forget the classic Natwest piggy banks which made the promotion that ran through the 80s and 90s the most successful UK banking promotion ever? It was a pleasure to be able to source the MEIF funding for Paul so that the business can continue to grow and create beautiful keepsakes.”
Ryan Cartwright, senior manager UKN at the British Business Bank, said: “Accelerating the growth of SMEs, like Wade Ceramics, is a key objective for the MEIF. This latest deal will allow the company to secure new partnerships and product offerings. We would encourage other business looking to grow in the Stoke and Staffordshire area to consider MEIF funding.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the EU 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.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) was managed by the British Business Band on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The scheme ended on 31 March 2021 and was replaced by the Recovery Loan Scheme.
The FSE Group, MEIF Debt Finance Fund provides loans between £100,000 and £1.5 million to help growing SMEs across the region.