£150,000 boost as firm comes to the boil

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A CRAMLINGTON firm has been given £150,000 in investment to spend on recruiting the new staff it needs to cope with a growth in sales.

New government subsidies and a £150,000 investment from Finance for Business North East’s accelerator fund mean the future looks bright for the Wood Heating Company’s biomass operation.

The biomass boiler offshoot, set up as a company in its own right in July 2010 to enable its parent firm to concentrate on its core business of producing wood-burning stoves, is now one of the region’s leading suppliers in its field.

Managing director Mike Blakeley said: “To date, it would be fair to say that the main customer base for biomass boilers has been committed environmentalists, but we believe that now the government’s renewable heating incentive scheme is in place, more and more people are going to realise the benefits of purchasing a biomass boiler – both environmental and financial.

“The investment is going to help us greatly in coping with the increasing interest in our products and services.”

Alex Buchan, investment manager at Northstar Ventures, the Newcastle-based venture capital firm overseeing payouts from the fund, added: “This is a technology whose time has come, thanks to government incentives.

“Although we have recently seen a controversial cut in support for new solar energy schemes, Whitehall remains committed to renewable energy generation, and we expect long-term, guaranteed financial subsidies will make biomass boilers a very attractive proposition.

“We are delighted to be working with such an innovative and dynamic business.”

The Accelerator Fund is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.