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Energy Build Southwest

Firm foundations for green building business thanks to Start Up Loan support

man in construction with hard hat and yellow visEnergy Build Southwest a great example of a sustainability-focused business Start Up Loans is committed to supporting

Construction manager Tom Weston has hit the nail on the head with a new business that specialises in green building techniques.

He set up Energy Build Southwest, based in Ivybridge, Devon, after securing a £25,000 Start Up Loan the programme’s partner in the South West, SWIG Finance.

After years spent working as a carpenter then as a site manager for projects across the region, university graduate Tom decided he could go out on his own.

He could see that more and more clients were looking to maximise energy efficiency and make use of the latest green technologies when it came to transforming their homes or building their dream house from scratch.

Since launching Energy Build Southwest in August 2023, Tom has already been involved in a major project to build a new four-bedroom home in his local area. He’s also had enquiries about other upcoming housing developments in South Devon.

“I’m really enjoying being in charge of my own business and working exactly the way I want to,” said Tom. “I like working closely with a client and building up a good working relationship. Having your own business means you get to see it all through from start to finish and I know the buck stops with me.”

Tom says having the Start Up Loan in place meant he could start his business with a decent amount of working capital behind him.

The money has been used buy tools, a van and to get key legal documents in place, such as insurance policies. It meant Energy Build Southwest was up and running in time to take on a sizeable first project.

“Having the loan has allowed me to take on a much bigger job than would have been able to do otherwise,” said Tom, delighted that his business was in a position to get started on building an eco-friendly, contemporary home. “The opportunity came my way and I was able to say yes because I had everything in place.”

Tom’s wife Victoria is joining the business when she returns from maternity leave, helping with the behind-the scenes work and day-to-day administrative tasks. It means Energy Build Southwest will be a family-run construction firm at the cutting edge of new techniques.

“Being energy efficient construction specialists makes us stand out from the competition,” said Tom. “There are some really great new materials out there and new methods of building. I feel proud to be a part of that.”

Steve Conibear, UK Network Director South West at the British Business Bank said:

“Earth Day is a great reminder that the British Business Bank is committed to supporting the UK’s transition to a net zero economy. Start Up Loans providing finance to a sustainability-focused business like Tom’s is just one of many examples of businesses benefitting the environment that are supported by our programmes.”

Start Up Loans is a government-backed programme from the British Business Bank, available to people looking to start or grow a business in the UK. It offers unsecured loans of up to £25,000 with a fixed interest rate of 6 per cent, repayable over one to five years. Successful applicants also receive 12 months of free mentoring to help them succeed.



Published on 19 April 2024

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