SME and Business

£4.8m funding boost for Derbyshire solar energy business

Custom Solar, which specialises in the design, development, installation, and maintenance of commercial rooftop solar systems throughout the UK, has secured £4.8m in new lending from Virgin Money to accelerate its growth ambitions.

Based in Chesterfield, the business is behind the largest rooftop commercial installation in the country, fitting 21,000 solar panels at the Port of Hull, which will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 1,400 tonnes every year.

The success of this and other projects has opened up further growth opportunities and with financial support from Virgin Money, it’s giving the business flexibility to target bigger designs and installations across its corporate and public sector customers.

Custom Solar was founded in 2011 and over the last 10 years the team has grown to 30 people, who travel to customers all over the UK. With the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, it’s seeing an increase in customers moving towards sustainable business improvements and taking advantage of the incentives available when investing in renewable energy.

Gary Sucharewycz, Chief Executive Officer, Custom Solar, said “We are extremely pleased with the facility that will now be in place with Virgin Money. This will support and accelerate our ever-growing 200MW pipeline of solar projects that the company is securing. We wanted to match our growth and ambition for the future with a tangible financial facility that will accelerate our ability to complete projects at an expedient rate. This will not only be a benefit to our clientele but to our planet.”

Custom Solar scored highly on Virgin Money’s Sustainable Business Coach, a recently launched free app designed to help businesses be more sustainable by measuring, tracking and offering guidance on improving their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) credentials.

Gary added: “We were really pleased that the results of the Sustainable Business Coach demonstrated the high standards of our internal sustainability credentials. The Coach was really easy to use and enabled us to look at our own business, providing the encouragement that we are not only doing good by the work we do, but by the way we operate. We are committed to staying on top of our own carbon footprint.”

Virgin Money has committed to halving the carbon emissions across everything it finances by 2030.

David Burgess, Director, Business Network, at Virgin Money, said: “Renewable energy is a vital part of our energy sources and we want to support sustainable organisations to help them grow and thrive. Custom Solar has been on quite a journey since its inception, with notable commercial projects that have demonstrated what the team is capable of. We are looking forward to working with the business as it accelerates its growth strategy, offering the financial backing it needs to deliver and exceed its customers’ expectations.”

Custom Solar was advised by BHP Corporate Finance, with a team led by Partner, Kevin Davies, and Tim Brind, Director.

Kevin said: “We are delighted to have been able to support Custom Solar on this next step in its exciting development. It is a fantastic business that sits right at the heart of the current environmental narrative, supporting UK business in its drive for sustainable energy sources.”