UK Steel Enterprise has provided more than £100 million of financial support to aspiring businesses across the UK following its latest deal, its board has revealed.

The organisation, which was founded more than 40 years ago and works in traditional steel-working areas across the UK to help businesses grow, recently agreed a six-figure deal with dynamic Scottish biopharmaceutical firm, Antibody Analytics.

Simon Hamilton, managing director, said: “This is a fantastic time for UKSE. We work hard to support companies across the UK and we are truly proud to have reached the £100m milestone.

“The steel industry has experienced significant change over the years, but UKSE has supported the entrepreneurial spirit that exists up and down the country and helped many worthwhile companies to grow and create new jobs.

“UKSE’s achievements are a testament to how management and unions can work together constructively to regenerate steel communities and drive new growth.”

UKSE was established in 1975 by the then British Steel Corporation to encourage economic regeneration and job creation in traditional steel communities by providing support, finance and premises to growing businesses.

To date it has supported 5,500 businesses across the UK including almost 1,600 in Wales, creating more than 26,500 jobs.

Among the Welsh companies that have received funding are Dragon Recycling Solutions, which is based at Rhymney, near Tredegar, and sports nutrition business Nutrivend, based in Llantrisant.

The latest to benefit from UKSE’s support is Scottish biopharmaceutical firm, Antibody Analytics, a contract-testing organisation offering bioanalytical services to global pharmaceutical companies developing new medicines to treat cancer and other diseases.

Andy Upsall, managing director at Antibody Analytics, said: “Without the help from UKSE, we wouldn’t be able to expand so quickly.

“Our industry has huge potential and with UKSE’s help, we are able to get an early foothold, expand our lab space and hire ahead of the curve to attract top scientists from around the world.

Simon Hamilton added: “It is extremely rewarding to support Antibody Analytics, and I’m looking forward to seeing the team grow and develop more life-saving medicines.

“We are passionate about regenerating steel areas and look forward to supporting more growing business across the UK.”

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