IC Innovations To Purchase New Premises And Take On More Staff Following £1.2m Funding

Irwin Mitchell's Real Estate Team Advises On Deal

09.06.2015

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Sheffield-based IC Innovations, a leading designer, supplier and distributor of distinctive homewares, gifts and seasonal products, is to purchase historic three-storey premises in Sheffield and hire additional staff following £1.265 million in funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial.

Tristan Cowell formed IC Innovations initially in 2005 when he designed and launched an innovative new product for displaying Christmas cards in the home. It proved an instant success and over the course of the next two years Card Hang UpsTM won multiple awards. Ten years later and IC Innovations has experienced strong demand for its expanding range of products, made up of its own portfolio of brands and private label design projects. The company now supplies products to many of the most trusted names in British retailing, with coverage in over 5,000 retail outlets in the UK.

IC Innovations has already developed strong trading relationships with suppliers in Asia and the funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial will also be used to explore further international trading opportunities. The firm has set up a showroom in the Far East and, with support from Santander’s global network and international expertise, is forecasting a stronger contribution to its growth from overseas stakeholders.

As part of its expansion, the company is relocating from Sheaf Bank Business Park in Heeley and has purchased Cemex House on Savile Street. The commercial site will host the company’s offices, design studio and showroom. The Sheffield office of law firm Irwin Mitchell advised on the relocation and completed all the legal aspects of a complicated purchase.

Expert Opinion
“IC Innovations are extremely ambitious and this relocation will provide the company with the space it needs to grow and meet customer demand. The company has grown considerably in recent years and this move marks an important milestone in the company’s development. We are delighted to be able to support such a business on its journey.”
Andrew J Wallis, Partner

The new premises, built in 1903, were originally known as part of Albion Works and were once home to metal dealers Thomas Ward Ltd - a company which a century ago supplied thousands of tons of recycled metal every day to the country’s steel firms for the war effort. Wards became famous in Sheffield as from 1916, it employed the services of an elephant called Lizzie to haul heavy loads of steel and machinery through the city’s streets. The company’s own horses had been taken off to the front for use by the military.

Tristan Cowell, Director, IC Innovations, said: “We are grateful to Santander Corporate & Commercial for giving us the opportunity to take the business to the next level. We have seen strong increase in demand for our product ranges from our fantastic customer base. The move will allow us to display our products in a realistic retail environment in the new showroom, whilst developing our in-house design capabilities.  I’m excited not just by the opportunities in the UK but also internationally as we enter the next phase of expansion.”

Donna Butler, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “We are delighted to provide funding to support a great local entrepreneur and to help enable the growth of an exciting business – one that’s creating additional jobs in the city. IC Innovations has a clear plan for expansion, driven by innovative and stylish products and a great network of customers, and I’m confident that it will continue to be a major local success story.”