Family firm eyes global expansion

A lighting company plans to expand from a family business into international markets with backing from a government lending scheme.

Sensio Ltd is moving from Lister Park in Featherstone to new premises in Speedwell Road, Castleford, after securing financial backing from Barclays.

The company, which was launched seven years ago and manufactures wholesale kitchen, bathroom and bedroom lighting products, bought and fitted out its new headquarters with help from the government-backed Funding for Lending Scheme.

Michael Linsky, managing director of Sensio Ltd, said: “Purchasing the new premises is a major step forward for our family business and takes us from a pure lifestyle operation into a sustainable mature business.

“We plan to expand into international markets and the timing of this investment could not have been better, with the cash-back payment from Barclays providing a buffer to help manage our finances as we expand.”

The Funding for Lending Scheme was launched in 2012 and aimed to revive the UK economy by increasing bank lending by up to £70bn.

The scheme works by allowing banks and building societies to borrow UK Treasury Bills to underwrite loans to businesses.

The Bank of England and Treasury announced an extension to the scheme in April this year, allowing lenders to borrow from the fund until 2015, with the incentives designed to boost lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Bryn Sutcliffe, senior business banking manager at Barclays, said the scheme had made borrowing cheaper.

He said: “By participating in the government-backed Funding For Lending scheme, Barclays is able to pass on the whole benefit we derive to our customers and we are optimistic that people will take advantage of this cheap time to borrow, and make the investment decisions that they have been putting off.”

Sensio Ltd, which was set up in 2007, and lists LED and energy-saving lighting among its product range, employs 20 people and has an annual turnover of £4m.