Engineer raises £385k to launch new range of offshore products

A Darlington business which has developed innovative systems for laying and removing subsea pipelines has secured a £385,000 funding package from the senior management team and NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Laytrix was founded last year by Andrew Stevenson, who is also CEO of marine engineering consultancy Ardmore Craig. The new business will develop equipment for the offshore industry and the funding will allow it to bring its first two systems to market.

Laytrix’s products – one for laying pipes and cables and the other for decommissioning them – greatly reduce the time and cost involved in carrying out the work. Designed for use in shallow waters including parts of the North Sea, they can be transported by road and attached to any flat-back support ship within 24 hours, removing the need to use specialist vessels which are costly and have to be booked well in advance.

As part of the investment, the company has also appointed Gary Hogg, the former COO of Global Maritime as a Non-Executive Director. Gary brings a wealth of technical expertise and international business experience to support the company as it looks to develop a client base, both within the North Sea and further afield including the Middle East and Far East.

Simon Crabtree, Investment Manager with Mercia Fund Managers, said:

“Andrew has a wealth of experience in designing and producing engineering systems on behalf of offshore sector clients. Laytrix will allow him and his team to develop their own branded products to market directly to the industry. The new systems allow for rapid mobilisation and address cost pressures in the industry and have already attracted interest from potential users. This investment will help fund the design and bring the products to market.”

David Tindall, Finance Business Partner at British Business Bank, said:

“The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund continues to make great strides in supporting ambitious businesses across the North. This latest investment is testament to that, and delivers equity finance that supports the launch of innovative systems as well as introducing additional talent to the business. We look forward to continuing our support for northern businesses.” 

Gareth Saynor and Caroline Walker of CMS provided legal advice to Mercia.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.