Business

New Rail Funding to Fast Track Innovation

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IMG_0078The recently launched Rail Supply Growth Fund, managed by Finance Birmingham, has provided a funding package to Penso to fast track their innovation of new composite doors for trains.

The funding package will help Penso to accelerate the innovation and production of their revolutionary composite design of a train door, a concept that they expect to see used on London Underground trains. The accreditation that the design has achieved will pave the way for use on any rail network in the world.

Based in Coventry, Penso Group is a fast growing technology led business that predominantly provides innovative engineering, build and prototyping alongside cutting edge composite production processes to a variety of industries. They have recently entered the rail sector using their in house engineering and composite manufacturing capabilities.

Penso’s unique design is the world’s first production capable lightweight composite train door, which has been fully accredited by London Underground for use on their trains. These new composite doors will not only be significantly lighter in weight but will also allow quicker door opening and closing times. Penso expects that these features will offer significant operational benefits for London Underground and its passenger in the future.

Penso has already received support from Finance Birmingham to help them fund previous innovation based projects in the automotive sector. Their new £2m support from the Rail Fund has enabled Penso to go from train door concept design to full production capability. Not only is the funding helping their investment in the innovation, design and development of new composite doors, it will also lead to Penso creating a number of new jobs and assist in maintaining part of their existing workforce whilst developing a UK based supply chain in the rail sector.

Jack Glonek of Finance Birmingham said: “We are really pleased to provide Penso with a further funding package that can support their ability to fast track the innovation and production of their new composite doors for trains”.

Chris Buckenham, Finance Director at Penso Group commented: “Finance Birmingham is able to support our Business in a manner that matches the market opportunity. They understand our business and the challenging area of moving innovation and R&D through to commercial application. The provisions of flexible funding packages that are otherwise not generally available in the commercial debt market are extremely valuable to our Business model of high investment and introduction of innovative technologies”.

The recently launched Rail Supply Growth Fund is supported by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Fund provides flexible loans of £500k to £2m to enable both existing and new businesses in the rail supply sector to grow their capabilities and capacity and to help them win new business opportunities from this expanding sector.

Finance Birmingham offer a range of flexible funding packages on a regional and national basis to businesses helping them develop and grow. Wholly owned by Birmingham City Council, their well developed public-private partnership means that they bring together private sector experience and expertise with the public sector drive to support innovation and growth to provide “more than just money”.

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