Funding Boosts a Growing Pipeline

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Saltash-based drainage specialists Waterways Drainage has received a £220k funding boost through SWIG Finance to support business growth.

Founder John Lawler, who has many years’ of experience in the sector, set up the business as a sole trader in 2018 and in just three years it has expanded rapidly.

The loan will support the creation of 4 new jobs, bringing the number of employees to 22.

Waterways Drainage specialise in unblocking drains, including emergency callouts, using the latest technology to provide clients with trenchless solutions saving cost and more importantly disruption time with their drainage issues. They also offer rainwater harvesting tank installations, pipe replacements, CCTV surveys and general groundworks.

Waterways is committed to enhancing its performance through upskilling its team, and in May 2023, Waterways won the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce Award for The Workforce Developer.

Of the funding, John commented “Without SWIG support life in the business would have been focused far more on negative firefighting as cashflow would be much more difficult to manage and business development would be far slower. The pressure that difficult cashflow brings to bear on business owners can send a negative vibe through the whole business, dampening morale and making recruitment and retention more difficult”.

Kevin Oliver of The Omni Market and Corporate Directorship Ltd introduced Waterways Drainage to SWIG Finance. Kevin said “Unlike with the company’s main bank, we got to deal with a human being that understood the difficulties created by fast growth in the business, but also could see the potential for future growth as well. Rachel was thorough with her detailed checks on the movement and application of funds, to ensure the business plan we presented made sense for SWIG”.

SWIG’s business manager, Rachael Thomson, led the deal. Rachel added “John has grown the business from scratch and is well respected in his industry. As the business grew, John recognised he needed additional support in some areas, so he engaged the services of Kevin Oliver from the Omni Market to help him with his business strategy. Kevin also introduced him to Finance Manager James Goudie to help him with the financials. This gave us at SWIG confidence that the business would grow and be able to trade successfully”.

About SWIG Finance 

SWIG Finance is a non-profit company that supports viable South West businesses that can’t secure sufficient funding from their bank. By empowering underserved SMEs to overcome their financial barriers, we are working to create a more balanced financial ecosystem.

We’re growing every year. In 2021/22, we lent £10.8m to 502 businesses, helping to create and secure over 1,000 jobs and generate £32.3m. For more information please download our impact report.

If you’d like an informal chat about your funding requirements, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to see how we can help: [email protected] / 01872 227 930.