Vivarail secures £1.5 million loan to fund expansion

Two Vivarail Class 230 trains for Transport for Wales.

Vivarail, the company based near Stratford-upon-Avon that is repurposing former London Underground trains as modular hybrid, battery and electric trains for lesser-used lines, has secured a £1.5 million loan from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund Debt Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners.

The company will use the MEIF funding to scale up operations by relocating to a larger site, which will allow it to expand its workforce, creating five new jobs.

Vivarail Class 230 train in London Northwestern Railway colours.

Vivarail offers a unique proposition to the rail industry and has designed and implemented modular and interchangeable power systems which enable trains to be easily converted to run on batteries. It designs and manufactures trains based on existing bodyshells and bogies, as part of its focus on reducing carbon waste.

Ian Wenman, Vivarail.

To date, Vivarail has taken orders from customers including West Midlands Trains, Transport for Wales and South Western Railway.

Ian Wenman, who is the finance director at Vivarail, said, “We are delighted to receive this funding package from MEIF Maven Debt Finance.

“As a business, our focus is to continue to develop environmentally friendly solutions for the rail industry.

“We look forward to taking this next step in our growth journey, relocating to a larger site and expanding our team.”

Demetri Theofanou, Maven.

Demetri Theofanou, investment manager at Maven, said, “Vivarail is a significant Midlands-based business that has developed some very interesting technology that will help the rail sector reduce its environmental impact and carbon footprint.

“We are delighted to help finance this innovative business and look forward to seeing it embark on its growth journey.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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