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Felling’s Gap Ice to create up to 20 jobs after £250,000 support

A fridge recycling firm plans to create up to 20 jobs and bolster turnover after receiving £250,000 support.

Gap Ice wants staff to strengthen its small appliance division at its Felling headquarters.

The company, which processes more than 10,000 appliances every week, also aims to increase turnover from £8 million to around £14 million.

Bosses have laid out their growth ambitions following investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.

After working with NEL Fund Managers to secure the £250,000 investment via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the business is now expanding facilities to cover more than five acres and grow its smaller domestic appliance division.

The business is part of the Gap Group, which was founded in 2005 and encompasses food waste management, haulage and electrical waste recycling businesses.

Mark Curry, finance director at the Gap Group, said its 20 new jobs will take the firm’s workforce beyond 100.

He added: “Managing the whole life of appliances like refrigerators is an increasing priority for both manufacturers and retailers, so being able to offer them an almost ‘zero landfill’ solution to their needs makes our offering extremely attractive to them.

“Taking on this extra space and capacity will enable us to accelerate our growth plans and give us the room to grow that we know we’re going to need in the coming years.

“Working with the NEL team was a smooth and straightforward experience.”

David Thomas, investment director at NEL Fund Managers, said: “Gap Ice has already demonstrated its leadership in this fast-developing part of the recycling market and its ambition to do even more will benefit both the business’ performance and the environment that surrounds us all.

“We’re very pleased to be working with such a far-sighted firm.”

Gap Ice was referred to NEL Fund Managers by James Clinghan, of Newcastle-based TBP – Trusted Business Partner.

James added: “The Gap Group team has been a pleasure to work with and we hope to continue to support them over the next few years.”

Officials say the North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.

The overarching £120 million North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80 million for further investment in the region.