/ News / Engineering firm takes off with export and jobs boost

Engineering firm takes off with export and jobs boost

John Toner, Chairman and CEO, Williams Industrial Services with Neil McCabe, Senior Investment Manager, WhiteRock Capital Partners
Emma Cowan on July 1, 2014 - 7:30 am in News

Williams Industrial Services Ltd (WIS Group), a leading provider of process control, automation and environmental engineering solutions in Northern Ireland has received a loan of £1.25 million from the £50m Growth Loan Fund to increase its levels of innovation and exports, and create up to 20 new high quality jobs to help fulfil lucrative new contracts.

Headquartered in Mallusk, WIS Group has an annual turnover in excess of £20m, and operates principally in the water and waste water, aerospace and renewable energy sectors. Group Chairman and CEO, John Toner said: “WIS Group has gone from strength to strength, with the company tripling its size in the last 7 years in terms of employment and revenue. The innovative engineering solutions that we design and develop ensure that we stand out from our competitors and differentiate ourselves on the international market.

“We undertake most of our development and manufacturing in-house, giving us unrivalled control over the design, customisation and performance of our various plants and processes.”

The WIS aerospace division specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of automated machinery, manufacturing systems and equipment for the aerospace and composites sectors. The company is currently dealing with customers across the world, to places such as Nova Scotia, Taiwan, the Middle East and Singapore.

A large part of the culture at WIS is innovation, an area of the company which benefitted from the loan. Since 2010, the company has invested over £600,000 in research and development across all business divisions. WIS has successfully patented a number of design innovations in aerospace & composites production machinery.

In the renewable energy division, WIS has developed its own proprietary AD (Anaerobic Digestion) technology solution, which can range from a £700k farm-scale 100kW plant up to £17m 3MW industrial scale facilities. This is the only locally designed solution for the NI market – designed for local feed stocks such as grass silage rather than maize silage.

WIS Group’s Water and Waste Water division specialises in the design, operation and maintenance of water and waste water treatment works, with the company’s primary clients being Utility Water companies.

“With the loan from the Growth Loan Fund, we have been able to expand into previously untapped markets across all of our operational divisions.”

Finance for the £50m Growth Loan Fund – which provides mezzanine finance to established Northern Ireland SMEs seeking to access growth finance – has been provided by Invest Northern Ireland and private investor, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC)

WhiteRock Capital Partners LLP has been appointed to manage the Fundby the consortium of three partners – Strathtay Ventures Limited, NEL Fund Managers and Clarendon Fund Managers, all of which are authorised and regulated by the FCA.

Senior Investment Manager, WhiteRock Capital Partners, Neil McCabe said: “We are pleased to support a company with such a strong focus on R&D and innovation in what it our largest loan to date.

“WIS Groups’ focus on export is already delivering strong results in terms of helping the firm achieve its full growth potential, and I am confident that this support from the Growth Loan Fund will compliment that further.”

Companies seeking funding from the Growth Loan Fund must be based in Northern Ireland, demonstrating growth potential and generally be in the manufacturing, engineering or tradable service sectors. Loans will be typically unsecured and personal guarantees will not be sought. The loans provided are expected to be complimentary to existing sources of finance, including banks, trade finance sources and equity investors. Loans are provided on a fully commercial basis, with monthly loan repayments required over typically a five-year term.

For more information about the Growth Loan Fund’s criteria please contact or go to

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