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Worcestershire’s Silverback Gymwear secures £650k investment

26 February 2024
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Richard Gardner (left), founder of Silverback Gymwear, with Ryan Cartwright, investment manager at The FSE Group

A Worcestershire-based ecommerce gym wear brand has received a £650,000 investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

Silverback Gymwear focuses on the strongman, strongwoman and strength sports markets, with 30,000 returning customers – from professional athletes to avid gym goers.

Its latest standalone product range, Fortis, was co-developed with Britain’s Strongest Man, Adam Bishop, and will see the business expand into other areas including professional rugby and MMA.

Richard Gardener, founder of Silverback Gymwear, said: “The next stage in the development of our range is an incredibly exciting one as we branch out into more sports and interests at all levels of competition.

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“We’ll be releasing new products that are industry leading, accredited and used in top competitions, all utilising designs that are much more user-friendly than current alternatives.”

The MEIF funding – provided by The FSE Group Debt Finance Fund and backed by the Recovery Loan Scheme – will enable to team to create 12 new positions, fund a move to larger premises and help boost sales and marketing functions.

Richard added: “The new staff hires that we’ll be able to bring on board thanks to this funding will continue this work and help us to expand further and faster as we disrupt the strength-based sports sector, bringing more options to the sector.”

Ryan Cartwright, investment manager at The FSE Group, noted the passion that founders Richard and Pete showed for the brand.

He said: “The company’s new products and expansion plans are very encouraging, and it’s been wonderful working with the whole team to help them secure this funding.

“We look forward to seeing how the business progresses and spotting their clothing at more and more competitions and matches.”

The latest MEIF investment phase is now over, but the British Business Bank is set to launch a second fund on 29th February 2024.

Mark Wilcockson, senior investment manager at the British Business Bank, added: “The MEIF continues to back smaller businesses across the region, so it’s great to see another business taking the opportunity for continued growth.

“As we move towards the launch of MEIF II, we continue to remain committed to this objective.”

The MEIF project is backed financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The FSE Group manages a section of MEIF that provides investments between £100,000 and £1.5 million to support growing SMEs across the region.

Read more - Global tech start-ups offered funded growth by Worcestershire's BetaDen


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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