Tyneside engineers WHP to create 25 jobs after sealing £2m finance facility

A Tyneside engineering firm is set to create 25 new jobs after securing a £2m facility to fuel its growth.

WHP Engineering designs and builds cleanrooms, clean manufacturing solutions and complex process systems for the healthcare, life sciences and personal care cosmetics sectors, and the Gateshead firm has seen significant growth since it was backed by private equity investor Enact in 2016.

Now the firm has sealed the £2m finance facility from Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance to support growth, following a rise in deals.

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Recent contracts include the Oxford Biomedica facility, completed in 2019, which has since been used to produce the first Covid-19 vaccination, and a research and manufacturing facility for Touchlight, a biotechnology company pioneering enzymatic DNA production. The business has also worked with global beauty brands Tropic and Coty.

While the pandemic delayed a number of overseas projects, the easing of restrictions has seen the demand for WHP’s services in healthcare and pharmaceutical markets increase significantly. As a result, the firm recorded its second highest annual order intake in 2021, following an uplift in the second half of the year.

WHP’s planned growth means it also plans to boost its headcount from 65 to 90 by the end of the year and the £2m facility provided by Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance will be used to support its working capital requirements.

Caroline Farquhar, financial director at WHP, said: “The business has experienced a really positive start to 2022 and we’re seeing an increase in demand following Covid-19, as the industry adapts to meet the new challenges.

“We are really pleased Secure Trust Bank was able to provide the facility to support our growth. The team has taken the time to understand the business and stayed close to us throughout the process. Its support has been invaluable, and we look forward to working together in the future.”

Paul Goodchild, regional director for Yorkshire and the North East at Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance, said: “WHP provides such an important service, the significance of which has never been more apparent.

“The business has a strong management team, an excellent reputation and valuable support from Enact. With this flexible facility in place WHP will flourish, and we are delighted to be playing our part in this evolving story.”

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Coreena FordChronicle and Journal business writer