A LONG-ESTABLISHED and well-known Kendal business builds on its sustainable success with funding backed by the UK government.

James Cropper plc, an international advanced, materials and paper products group, has completed on a £25 million club-bank financing deal with NatWest and HSBC UK backed by an 80% guarantee by UK Export Finance (UKEF) to support its further sustainable growth goals.

The AIM-listed business consists of three distinct operating divisions with a combined turnover of over £100 million sales, employing over 600 full-time employees across four global manufacturing locations and an operational reach to over 60 countries.

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It manufactures a range of products; from bespoke coloured and textured papers, and next-generation sustainable moulded packaging, to specialist materials at the cutting edge of technology that supports the advancement of green energy.

Established in 1845, James Cropper is a sixth generational family business which was founded at the same Burneside Mill site that it respectfully operates from today.

The business has transitioned from its paper mill origins using its expertise and specialism in fibre technology to transform into a global speciality materials provider.

Isabelle Maddock, Chief Finance Officer at James Cropper, said: “Our commitment is to create pioneering materials and sustainable solutions in support of the markets we serve and in taking direct responsibility for progressing our operations via all our ESG priorities. The funding will allow us to invest in our business while also delivering on our commitments to our customers.”

The business is committed to providing niche solutions to the highest standards of sustainability, such as materials essential for hydrogen production & use, custom papers for luxury branded packaging and moulded fibre finished packaging providing alternatives to single-use plastics.

The funding, which was supported by UK Export Finance with NatWest acting as coordinator and agent, will be used to support James Cropper’s strategic innovation, growth capex and other improvements including new machinery, building expansion, decarbonisation plans and improvement to upcycling processes.

John Howard, Relationship Director at NatWest, supported the deal and said: “We are pleased to support James Cropper with funding which will enable the business to continue to expand, innovate and develop new practices to support their sustainable goals. The business continues to do incredible work across the community, and we look forward to working with the management team in the future.”