High-tech firm swaps brawn for brain

Global Partnerships snaps up robot arm with asset-based finance deal

Chris Newland

Business: Global Partnerships  

Location: St Ives, Cambridgeshire  

Sector: Manufacturing 

Funding: £50k Asset based funding


Chris Newland founded Global Partnerships in 2008 after uncovering a niche in the market for the production of complex parts used in the aerospace, defence, maritime and renewable energy sectors. Starting out as a humble two-man engineering consultancy, the firm has subsequently grown into a 22-strong team based in a St Ives factory in Cambridgeshire.

With a team of experienced and multi-disciplined engineers, Global Partnerships has grown steadily in recent years but the firm needed new equipment to advance further.

In 2017, the business saw a golden opportunity for further growth when a complex robotics cutting machine came up for sale at a discounted price. With an existing funding agreement in place, Global Partnerships asked its financier, Bibby Financial Services (BFS), to support its procurement of the equipment.

Time was limited as the equipment could be sold elsewhere but BFS’s leasing team were able to step in and provide funding within four days, enabling Global Partnerships to purchase the machine.

With the new equipment, the company is now able to service customers with enhanced capabilities and reduce its need for manual labour. The machine does this by cutting out more complicated structures faster and more efficiently than a human ever could. This, in turn, means that Global Partnerships is able to reallocate its highly trained staff onto the tasks that a machine is unable to do, such as designing parts that the machine can then create.

Chris Newland, Founder, Global Partnerships commented: “We needed to take advantage of the favourable market price for the equipment very quickly before it was snapped up by someone else. The leasing team at BFS stepped in and were able to help us secure the equipment we knew we could put to great use. The speed and ease at which this was done really impressed us and allowed for a seamless transaction.

“With the robot arm now in place, we can move our team around to focus on the brainpower for designing the parts that we manufacture.

“We’ve had an invoice finance facility with BFS for a number of years so we know how good the customer service is and having an end-to-end finance solution covering both invoices and machinery, is a huge advantage.”

Carol Roberts, Managing Director for Asset Finance at Bibby Financial Services said: “Leasing is a great solution for businesses like Global Partnerships that want to expand by purchasing new equipment to improve efficiency, without having to undergo the upfront costs associated with expensive machinery.

“With a lease agreement in place, the business can now pay for the equipment over time, helping it to grow by deploying its cashflow in other areas of the business.

“Our invoice finance team have worked with the business since 2013, so when Chris got in touch to enquire about lease finance, we were confident we could help within the required timescales.

“This is a great example of how BFS’s teams work together to support our clients and we look forward to seeing Global Partnerships grow further with this new machinery in place.”