Cumbernauld furniture firm carves out growth plan after funding

Scott Webb of UKSE and Stephen Connachan, Aquapac Limited. Picture: Contributed
Scott Webb of UKSE and Stephen Connachan, Aquapac Limited. Picture: Contributed
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A Cumbernauld-based furniture business is assembling plans for expansion after receiving a six-figure funding boost.

Aquapac is looking to grow its design and engineering team by 50 per cent, which will assist the firm in servicing additional projects and allow it to enter into new market sectors.

Aquapac is looking to grow its design and engineering team by 50 per cent. Picture: Contributed

Aquapac is looking to grow its design and engineering team by 50 per cent. Picture: Contributed

The company produces wooden furniture products for hotels and offices and is traditionally known for its bespoke aquarium and vivarium cabinets.

Since moving into a custom 50,000 square foot factory in 2017, the firm has been increasing capacity and expanding into sectors including contract furniture and kitchens, creating an increased workload for the firm’s team of designers and engineers.

The student accommodation sector is now the company’s biggest growing revenue stream with Aquapac recently manufacturing cabinets and beds for 600 halls-of-residence bedrooms at the University of Surrey.

Fourth round

The latest six-figure injection is the fourth round of funding provided to the company by UKSE, a subsidiary of Tata Steel, since 2007.

Previous funding helped the firm with its move, along with investing in production equipment. The new wave of funding will also assist in purchasing state-of-the-art software and equipment, including a beam saw, a CNC machine and robotic storage.

Since its first year of operation in 1995, Aquapac has increased employee count from 16 to 40, and boosted turnover by 300 per cent.

Managing director Stephen Connachan said: “I’m really proud of the team we’ve grown at Aquapac. Without the help from UKSE, we wouldn’t have been able to expand so rapidly.

“UKSE has been one of our biggest supporters, and thanks to its backing we’ve been able to progress and develop the company into something very special.”

Scott Webb, regional executive at UKSE, said: “We’ve worked with Aquapac for a number of years and we’ve been very impressed with the way in which they have grown, carving out a marketplace for themselves.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the firm in the future.”

UKSE focuses on supporting businesses and communities that have been affected by changes in the steel industry. It offers a range of financial services to help small and medium-sized enterprises, from small loans to large investments.

READ MORE: Motherwell life sciences deal helps UKSE funding top £100m