Energy & Recycling

Christchurch start-up with green ambitions boosted by SWIG Finance loan

Left to right: Ben Gibbons, Connor Winter and Paul Albone

By Giles Gwinnett [email protected]

Published: May 17, 2024 | Updated: 17th May 2024

A Dorset-based company, which has developed ground-breaking technology to recycle plastic waste and turn it into low-carbon building materials, has received a £21,000 start up loan from SWIG Finance.

Circular11 was co-founded by Ben Gibbons and Connor Winter in 2020 and now has eight employees.

So far, it has raised over £600,000 through investors and grants to set up a full-scale manufacturing facility in the county.

The SWIG Finance loan was used to develop two new fencing and barrier products which are now being trialled on the motorway network.

SWIG Finance’s business manager Nicki Kimberley said: “Ben and Connor have created a fantastic business that will have a significant impact on the future of plastic waste.

“I was delighted to support them with their application and help them access further funding to continue developing the business.”

Gibbons added: “SWIG finance, and Nicki in particular, made it a really easy and painless process to get the loan.

“It’s important to us that our finance partners share similar values to us, in terms of what money should be invested in, and so we’re really happy to be able to meet our fundraising needs with a company like SWIG that cares about the same things we do.”

Circular11 works with individuals, households and communities to gather waste which can be posted or dropped off at one of their collection points.

Its range of products made from plastic that would otherwise have gone to incineration or landfill, include timber planks, fencing, furniture, and planters.

The aim is to not only reduce plastic pollution in oceans but also reduce the open burning of plastic, which has toxic effects on humans and the environment.

SWIG Finance helps smaller businesses in the South and South West to grow. In 2022/23, it lent £14m to 478 businesses, helping to create and secure over 1,000 jobs and generate £44.6m in social impact.

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