8 February 2016 by Michael Holder

Darlington waste firm secures £6.7m investment

Darlington-based Total Recycling Services Ltd has secured £6.7 million investment from venture capital firm Business Growth Fund (BGF) Ventures.

Total REcycling services, based in Darlington, has received a £6.7m boost

Total REcycling services, based in Darlington, has received a £6.7m boost

Operating from two sites in Teesside, Total Recycling Services provides commercial and industrial waste and recycling services and runs its own transport fleet of 26 specialist wagons, tankers and jetting units.

Established in 2010, the firm also offers hazardous waste recovery at its purpose-built hazardous waste management plant, which includes a ‘state-of-the-art’, ISO accredited chemical drum decontamination and recycling facility.

According to BGF Ventures, Total Recycling Services generated a turnover of £14 million in 2014 and recently expanded its commercial recycling operations with the acquisition of Foreman Recycling, which has been fully absorbed into TRS’s operations.

Asset base

BGF said Total Recycling Services had a “strong asset base” and the £6.7 million investment would be used to “accelerate organic growth and to explore opportunities to further expand its operating facilities and equipment”.

Ross Smith, who is non-executive chairman at Teesside firm J&B Recycling – another company backed by BGF (see letsrecycle.com story) – has been also appointed as non-executive chairman at Total Recycling Services following an introduction made by Business Growth Fund.

“After six years building a stable customer base and investing in equipment and facilities, we are now in a position to scale-up our operations.”


Alex Foreman
TRS managing director

According to BGF, Mr Smith will work with Total Recycling Services’ management in developing and executing the firm’s longer-term growth plans.

TRS managing director, Alex Foreman, said: “After six years building a stable customer base and investing in equipment and facilities, we are now in a position to scale-up our operations.

“Keeping control of the business and finding an investor that would provide long-term funding was important to us. With BGF’s financial backing and Ross Smith’s experience, we are excited and confident about becoming an even bigger business.”

Business Growth Fund

The £6.7 million investment from was led by Business Growth Fund investors Barry Jackson, Richard Taylor and Chris Boyes, who will also sit on the board of Total Recycling Services.

BGF’s Mr Jackson commented: “In a short space of time Alex and the team have created a profitable business of scale with solid foundations. We look to back strong management teams with clear plans for how they want to grow their business – and we’re delighted to provide financial support to TRS’s future plans.

“In terms of BGF’s investment activity nationally, the North East has been one of our strongest regions over the past 12 months. Above anything else, I think this speaks to a renewed sense confidence among small and mid-sized businesses in the region.”

With capital of up to £2.5 billion, BGF Ventures claims to be the ‘UK’s largest dedicated capital company for earlier stage technology-related businesses’ with typical investments between £1 million and £6 million into small and medium sized companies.

Last year, it injected £2.2 million finance into family-owned composting business Keenan Recycling in Scotland (see letsrecycle.com story).

An independent firm, BGF is backed by five UK banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered. It has invested £50 million in seven North East businesses since 2012.


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