Photograph: (Left to Right) Alan Sanderson (Reward Finance Group), Mark Simpson (Speedflex) and Peter Cromarty (Corporate and Commercial Business Solutions)
North-East based Speedflex, which was established and funded by entrepreneur Graham Wylie, one of the original founders of Sage, and Paul Ferris, ex Newcastle United Physiotherapist, is to step up production of its innovative fitness equipment to meet demand in the UK.
Unlike traditional exercise machines, Speedflex does not use weights. Instead resistance is automatically adjusted in response to the user. This means that the machine responds and adjusts the resistance, allowing users to train efficiently and at an optimum level for the individual. This technology makes the equipment suitable for all ages and fitness levels and has the added benefit of having little or no post-training muscle soreness due to its concentric focus.
Speedflex supplies gyms throughout the country, and currently has 14 studios operating in the UK. They have seen an increase in demand for the Speedflex machine and studio concept, which has created an urgent need to manufacture a further 80 new machines.
A strategic decision was made by Speedflex to utilise SME funding for the stage payment of the manufacturing and delivery process.
SME lender Reward Finance Group has provided Speedflex with a £500k revolving facility to support the process, having been introduced to the company by Peter Cromarty of North-East based intermediary, Corporate and Commercial Business Solutions.
Speaking about the investment, Group Finance Director of Speedflex, Mark Simpson, said,
“We have had a great response to the new technology, as gym owners can see it will make their facility much more inclusive, leading to increased membership, as there is no barrier to age or fitness levels.
“We have had to act quickly to meet the demand for the machines and while this could have been funded from further internal investment, the process ideally suited utilising a revolving facility.
“We are therefore grateful to Reward who quickly recognised Speedflex’s potential and provided us with a flexible funding solution, which met perfectly with our requirement. The facility will enable us to settle stage payments, as they become due, and reduce the facility at the point of sale. It will also allow us to grow the business at the pace we require.”
Alan Sanderson, Portfolio Manager at Reward Finance Group, added,
“The amount of orders being received for the Speedflex machines demonstrates that this new technology is a great addition to the gym market, moving forwards. We therefore had no hesitation in providing a flexible funding solution to help the company quickly fulfil the orders and facilitate further expansion, as demand dictates.”