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Energy is high at Lancashire slate firm thanks to Yorkshire Bank

6th May 2015

A Lancashire-based specialist slate supplier is now heating its head office via an energy efficient biomass boiler, with support from Yorkshire Bank.

JRC Specialist Slate Suppliers, based in Burnley, source and deliver slate roof tiles from around the world to customers across the UK. The boiler is believed to be the first of its kind to be installed in the UK and is one of the first biomass boilers to have been funded by Yorkshire Bank using asset finance.

A longstanding client of Yorkshire Bank, JRC Specialist Slate Suppliers is run by husband and wife team Jason and Rosie Connor and celebrates 15 years in business this year. The deal to help finance the boiler was handled by Hayley Jarrett, a Senior Business Advisor in the Bank’s asset finance team in support of Relationship Manager John Reeves at Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Blackburn.

Rosie Connor, Director at JRC Specialist Slate Suppliers, explained:

“Dealing with the quality, natural material of slates every day, we are very conscious about the natural environment and were keen to source a heating system which would help us and the environment.

“By installing a biomass boiler and replacing our electric wall heaters with radiators, our electricity bill will be reduced significantly. Using renewable energy to heat our building means that we also qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and will be paid a fixed amount by the Government for all the energy we produce over the next 20 years.”

The new biomass boiler replaced the company’s traditional water heater and burns wood in a controlled manner, with the right mixture of fuel and air to provide highly efficient heating with lower emissions. Burning biomass - like wood pellets or logs - emits the same level of carbon dioxide as that which is absorbed while the plants were growing, so is classed as carbon-neutral renewable energy.

Rosie added: “The construction industry has picked up following the recession and our business is now in a period of growth. We are looking at a 15% increase on last year’s turnover and, in fact, last month was the strongest month in the company’s history.

“The transaction to help fund the boiler went very smoothly. John Reeves at Yorkshire Bank is very efficient, thorough and reliable. He does exactly what he says he will do, which is exactly what we are looking for.”

As well as the head office in Burnley, JRC imports a wide selection of Spanish slate into the UK via warehousing facilities at Portbury in Somerset and Greenock Docks, on the Firth of Clyde. The company also provides a wide range of ridge tiles, copper nails as well as chimney pots and accessories.

John Reeves, Relationship Manager at Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Blackburn, said:

“This is one of the first biomass boilers to be funded by Yorkshire Bank using asset finance and we were delighted to be able to support JRC with their plans, which not only support their growth ambitions but also help the environment.

“Hayley Jarrett from our asset finance division was instrumental in obtaining asset approval and then progressing this through to a smooth conclusion; liaising closely with all parties throughout.”

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks has strengthened its support for UK SMEs by becoming the first to partner with the British Business Bank under its ENABLE Guarantees scheme. Up to £125m of new lending by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, guaranteed by the British Business Bank, will help more small businesses achieve their growth ambitions.

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