LIGNIA Wood Company, a producer of sustainable modified wood based in Barry, Wales, has secured £3 million funding from London-based investment manager Downing LLP, to support the construction of its first commercial production facility.
The company is helping tackle issues relating to lack of supply of legal and sustainable hardwoods. It is doing this by modifying the properties of sustainably-sourced, plantation-grown softwoods under the brand name LIGNIA®.
LIGNIA is produced by impregnating wood with resin which, once cured, has an appearance resembling a tropical hardwood that has a better appearance, durability, stability and fire resistance than many high value hardwoods such as oak and teak.
The £3 million funding from Downing will help support the development of LIGNIA’s first commercial scale production plant, based in Barry in Wales’ Vale of Glamorgan. The plant will be able to produce up to 15,000m³ of LIGNIA wood annually.
Downing LLP itself is a highly experienced investment manager with over 35,000 investors. It has raised over £1.7 billion into businesses across a range of sectors, from renewable energy, care homes, health clubs, and children's nurseries, to technology and sports nutrition.
The investment manager recently opened a brand new office in Cardiff, which will form a technology centre for the business. Downing chose Cardiff as its location due to its reputation as a home of exciting fintech companies.
The Development Bank of Wales and Woodford Investment Management have also committed funding to LIGNIA Wood Company of £2 million and £2.5 million respectively.
Commenting on the funding and LIGNIA Wood Company’s business growth, James Lewis, Investment Director at Downing Ventures, said:“We are constantly striving to find exciting businesses in new markets. LIGNIA is a great example of this, as a product with a clear technical advantage for which there is already high demand. “Wales is proving a very interesting place for us to find opportunities at the moment, whether it’s among the technical talent in Cardiff or innovative local businesses like LIGNIA Wood Company, outside the capital.”
Hans Ng, Chief Executive Officer of LIGNIA, added:“With supply of many hardwoods constrained due to regulation, this has opened the market for modified wood, making now an excellent time to expand our business. Downing’s diverse expertise and investment in sustainability sectors made them a logical fit for us and we are very excited to be working with their team.”
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