Linemark UK will use the £400k funding package from NatWest to increase the volume of titanium dioxide it stocks. A worldwide shortage of this vital raw material, mainly due to a rapid increase in demand for China, has meant the product is difficult to source.
The chemical is a key ingredient required to produce the grass marking products and it is crucial for Linemark to maintain its current supplies of titanium dioxide in order to meet customer’s needs.
Linemark’s products are used to mark the pitches at several premier league football grounds including Old Trafford, Anfield, Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane and the Emirates. The company’s products are also used at Twickenham and Murrayfield, plus thousands of amateur sports pitches across the country.
Earlier this year Linemark won a Queens Award for Innovation for developing its Impact Gold Paint system. This system uses concentrated paint and a pressure sprayer making it possible to mark a whole football pitch with just one litre of paint and no additional water.
Linemark’s directors are confident this technology will increase their export sales, particularly in countries where water conservation is a major issue. The company, which has a turnover of £2.4m, employs 27 staff. Its products are already exported to France, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Linemark director, Tony Holt, said: “The export side of the business has grown significantly. In the last 12 months and we now have a presence in most European countries plus Australia and New Zealand. We see further growth potential in this area as awareness of the Impact Gold system increases. Prior to securing any new contracts it is essential to have sufficient raw materials in place to meet the increase in demand. NatWest has provided us with the financial support to cover any rise in production overheads.”
Melanie Clarke, Senior Relationship Manager at NatWest, said: “Linemark has established itself as the UK market leader in this area due to the innovation and skill of its staff. They are well positioned for overseas growth and we are very happy to support their plans.”