A specialist manufacturing company has received a seven-figure investment boost to fuel its growth plans.
The backing from WeDo Business Investments will enable Atlas Composite Technologies to invest in new plant and equipment, its premises and additional staff as it gears up for its next phase of expansion to cater for increasing demand in the UK and from overseas.
Atlas designs and manufactures complex composites for use in a range of sectors, including aerospace, defence, medical, elite motorsport and niche automotive such as supercars and hypercars.
The company, acquired in 2017 by brothers Lloyd and Jason Pearson, operates from three sites in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, and employs nearly 120 staff. It is on track for record turnover of £9.3 million this year, an increase of 25% from 2021.
Over the next year, Atlas expects to recruit around 30 staff and expand its facilities to drive further development in existing markets and diversify into new sectors.
WeDo Business Investments is a division of WeDo Business Services, which has its group headquarters in Oldham, Greater Manchester. WeDo has taken a minority stake in Atlas as a result of its investment.
WeDo directors Mark Lindsay and Chris Robinson have been working with Atlas for over two years and were approached to consider a partnership investment to support its future growth.
Lindsay said: “With a highly-skilled engineering workforce and an experienced, hugely capable and focused management team, Atlas has established an excellent reputation for its industry-leading technical knowledge, built around continuous investment in new technology and the manufacturing of complex composite components and assemblies.
“Our relationship with Atlas has been built on a simple model of delivering solutions in a transparent and value-added way, which helped the company through the tough Covid period to ensure it got more than it expected from a funding partner.
“We have developed an intimate understanding of the Atlas business, and our commitment is very timely as the business stands on the cusp of its next phase of growth.
“Atlas produces components of unrivalled quality and complexity and has just retained its AS9100 aerospace industry accreditation. There is significant interest for large-scale projects and orders, and we are looking forward to seeing Atlas continue to go from strength to strength with this latest investment.”
He added: “Since my early days in banking, I’ve loved working with companies which make things. Atlas manufactures amazing world-class products so to be part of its journey and support UK manufacturing is extremely exciting.”
Lloyd Pearson, managing director of Atlas, said: “This welcome investment is a major milestone for the company and will enable us to build on our success to date and take Atlas to the next level.
“It was refreshing to listen to Mark and Chris and understand how receptive they were to investing in Atlas to support our plans.
“Our order book is the strongest it’s ever been, and it’s great to have the experience of Mark, Chris and the WeDo team on board to further develop the business.
“We’re in excellent shape for the coming years, with a robust cash position enhanced by this latest investment, and we’re hugely excited and focused on delivering the opportunities that lie ahead in our existing markets, diversifying into new areas and investing for the future in plant, equipment, premises and staff.”
In addition to its Oldham headquarters, the WeDo group has offices at MediaCityUK in Salford, Sheffield, Swindon and Colchester. Founded by Mark and Chris in 2019 with just four staff, the group has grown rapidly through organic expansion and through acquisitions and now employs more than 100 people. WeDo provides a range of services to small and medium-sized companies. As well as finance, it provides HR, back office, digital, IT and payroll support with a focus on start-ups and growing businesses.