“We’re grateful for the existence of CDFI’s such as ART. In today’s economic environment UK business more than ever need financiers with vision, who are prepared to take a calculated risk and support an entrepreneurial approach.”
KPM is an engineering company based in Newtown, Birmingham. As a major supplier to the automotive industry, it suffered a double blow when, within weeks, it learnt that first Ford and then Land Rover were going to drop it as a supplier.
Over 50% of sales were lost and the directors were left with very little time to find replacement business. They believed that their best option in the long-term was to move up-market from normal metal bashing to the production of value-added parts. Their bank didn’t agree however, considering it too risky, and advised them to cut back.
So KPM approached ART, which agreed to lend the money to pay the deposit to buy new machinery. And this was the break they needed. With a lot of hard work they transformed the company, over 18 months, from subcontracting to design and manufacture. “It was very stressful,” says Joint Managing Director, Jules Morgan, “I lost all my hair!”
Once they had ART’s backing, a new bank stepped in to support KPM as well and nearly a decade on KPM continues to go from strength to strength. As the business has grown, ART has provided additional loan support and KPM has built a thriving business supplying precision parts for products such as powerboats and sports cars around the world and now lists many prestigious names among its customers. The business was seen by HRH The Duke of York as part of his visit to ART in June 2003.