Craig Harris and Mark Gibbons

Accrington manufacturer doubles staff and goes global with Access to Finance support

An Accrington company which manufactures steel workspaces and stations is experiencing sustained turnover and staff growth after moving into a larger unit it purchased with the help of a Lancashire County Council finance service.

Truesteel was formed in 1998 but began manufacturing its own custom workspace furniture around ten years ago. Its customers include Rolls Royce Aerospace, JCB and Jaguar Land Rover.

The company had reached capacity at its previous production unit and after finding a suitable larger unit which was only available for purchase, it approached its bank for a loan.

Truesteel struggled to gain the funds it needed and contacted Access to Finance Lancashire, which helped it secure a £910,000 loan in 2022 to purchase the facility.

Since moving into the new facility last year, the company has grown its headcount from five to 11 and has grown turnover by £550,000. It has also grown its global customer base and recently secured a major new contract with a global car manufacturer which will continue until mid-2025.

Craig Harris, managing director, Truesteel, said: “We started to be strangled by the premises we were in. We had hit maximum capacity and could not employ any more people. We found there was nothing we could rent which was suitable and we would need to purchase.

“The unit we found was five times as big as the facility we were in at the time and way above our budget. We explained the situation to the bank and initially they were agreeable but then they did not want to lend us the money.”

Craig then got in touch with Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and was referred to Access to Finance Lancashire by Boost’s Growth Support Service.

Access to Finance Lancashire, funded via the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund and by Lancashire County Council, offers expert financial support at no cost to eligible businesses. It gives Lancashire companies access to a team of finance and funding specialists to help them find and secure investment.

Craig added: “Our adviser at Access to Finance Lancashire was like a guru. She helped us with our business forecasts, spoke with our accountant and liaised with other banks, eventually convincing our bank to support us.”

Craig says the company is now planning further sustainable growth over the coming years.

“We need another machine and that will provide two jobs. We also have a lot of land at our new site, so we have the ability to expand,” he added.

Mark Gibbons, senior Access to Finance specialist, said: “Truesteel is a brilliant example of how Access to Finance Lancashire helps companies in the county to grow by unlocking funding.

“It’s great to see how the new facility has allowed Truesteel to attract new customers and that its expansion is providing new skilled jobs in Lancashire. I’m looking forward to continuing following Craig and the team’s growth story over the coming years.”

Notes to editors

Please direct all media enquiries to:

Joel Durkin at Freshfield PR, or Simon Turner at Freshfield PR,

Access to Finance Lancashire (

Access to Finance Lancashire is a fully-funded service which helps ambitious small-to-medium size businesses (SMEs) in Lancashire find and secure the finance they need.

It gives Lancashire companies access to a team of finance and funding specialists to help them become investment-ready, understand their finance options, source and secure the best type of finance for their business. There is no cost to Lancashire businesses to access the support.

Access to Finance Lancashire has supported over 400 business, led to £30m funding offers and supported the creation of 295 jobs.

The service is funded by Lancashire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund. It is delivered by GC Business Growth Hub.

GC Business Growth Hub is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2020, as part of a portfolio of ERDF-funded programmes designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Eligibility criteria apply. ERDF is a fund allocated by the European Union that finances convergence, regional competitiveness and employment and territorial co-operation.