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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Coreena Ford

Furniture Clinic to create new jobs after sealing £500,000 investment

County Durham’s Furniture Clinic is to create new jobs and focus on overseas expansion following a £500,000 investment.

The Consett-based leather, fabric and wood cleaning and repair business, has secured the money from the Finance Durham Fund, managed by Maven Capital Partners, to enable it to embark on a programme of growth, to invest in the development of its factory and create 12 new jobs.

The company was first launched around 20 years ago by Keith Staerck, who toured the UK showcasing his leather cleaning products and services at trade and home exhibitions.

READ MORE: How I turned a sideline venture into a global business: Handbag Clinic founder Charlotte Staerck

In 2004 his son Ben, then a sixth former, designed and built a company website, which triggered huge growth, leading to him joining the business full time.

Having last year moved from its original base at Hobson Industrial Estate to a modern unit in Consett, the company has recently expanded its range to include specialist products used to repair and restore wood and flooring. Everything is produced in-house from product R&D and testing to production.

The business exports its award-winning products internationally, and the funding will also be used to expand its presence overseas and begin selling in European countries.

Furniture Clinic already supports an impressive range of high-profile customers including Harrods, Rolls Royce, John Lewis, Four Seasons Hotels, NHS, Royal Airforce and DFS.

Ben Staerk, who took over as managing director in 2012, is supported by a management team and the business currently employs over 60 staff in the UK.

He said: “We’ve seen 50% year on year growth over the last two years with the creation of new product ranges. The process of developing and launching new products is becoming more complex as we grow, and this investment will make sure we have the right people and finance available to continue to roll out new products and grow sales. We look forward to working alongside Maven as they support us in our ambitious growth plans.”

Michael Dickens, investment manager at Maven, said: “We’re delighted to support Furniture Clinic, an established and growing local company, headquartered in County Durham, manufacturing a substantial product range to a number of markets.

“Ben has built an impressive business and it’s great to provide funding at this time as it looks to invest further in expansion as well as create new jobs in the area. This investment is Maven’s 50th since we opened two offices in the region in 2017 and it’s a great testament to the number of innovative, high growth businesses the North East is home to.”

Coun James Rowlandson, cabinet member for resources, investment and assets at Durham County Council, said: “We are delighted to have been able to invest in Furniture Clinic through Finance Durham, and also to assist the company to expand its Consett base with a capital grant from our County Durham Growth Fund. It’s fantastic to support this home-grown business as it grows both nationally and internationally and to help them as they explore exciting new markets for their products.

“We encourage more businesses to follow suit and access the funding opportunities we have available through our Business Durham team to create more and better jobs and contribute towards a strong competitive economy for the future.”

The £20m Finance Durham Fund was established by Durham County Council and is overseen by Business Durham, the business support service of Durham County Council.

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