New jobs in medical equipment with NatWest funding


New jobs in medical equipment with NatWest funding

A Buckinghamshire producer of medical devices and equipment is bringing manufacturing back to the UK and almost doubling its workforce thanks to funding from NatWest.

Robert Sipsma of Lombard and NatWest’s Nick Jones and with MediPlus MD Emma Gray

Family company Mediplus, which employs 30 people, focuses on the research, development, manufacture and marketing of medical devices for sectors including urology, gynecology, anaesthetics, gastroenterology and general surgery.

It is setting up a manufacturing operation to make many of its own products at its base in High Wycombe.

Managing Director Emma Gray, whose father Bob Urie set up the company almost 30 years ago, said: “Regulations are increasingly expecting manufacturers to have more control of the processes carried out by sub-contractors. That’s one of the reasons we’ve decided to set up our own manufacturing in-house. It will also mean we have more quality control.

Bringing manufacturing back to the UK

“We are going to be recruiting up to 25 new posts, so it is great for local industry. We are re-shoring, as this move will see us bring a lot of our manufacturing back to the UK. At the moment it is currently being done in France and North Africa. So we are helping UK industry as a whole as well as the local area.”

The £500,000 project sees Mediplus taking on the lease of the building next door to its headquarters at Cressex Business Park, and creating a clean room which will allow the company to produce products in a controlled environment.

The firm has borrowed around £325,000 from NatWest and Lombard Business Finance, the asset finance arm of NatWest’s parent company RBS, including a loan under the Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme.

Mediplus, which last year won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, will still outsource some of its production work to sub-contractors. Gray hopes that their own manufacturing operation will start in June, and some of the products made on-site by Mediplus will be exported.

Gray worked with NatWest relationship director Nick Jones to secure the funding needed to launch the manufacturing arm.

She said:  “I have a lot of support from Nick – we meet regularly to discuss future plans and aspirations. A year ago we put it to Nick that it would make sense for us to bring some manufacturing in-house, but still have a dual service of supply, using some sub-contractors as well. We asked if the bank could help us out and Nick was very understanding and supportive.”

Jones said: “Mediplus is a great example of how UK manufacturing is succeeding through added value manufacturing of niche products in highly focussed markets. Combine this with exceptionally strong export performance and you have a recipe for success.

“We have a dedicated manufacturing team at NatWest and we were delighted to help Emma and her team with this project, which supports the local as well as UK-wide economic recovery.”

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2014

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