Published: July 13, 2022
Region: East of England
East Anglia waste management firm expands its sustainable practices thanks to seven-figure funding from Unity Trust Bank
A former surveyor who was inspired to transform a skip hire business into a recycling and waste management facility after renovating his own home is expanding his operation thanks to a £1.8m refinance package from Unity Trust Bank.
Julian Knights, who set up Radical Waste Group in 2015, has used the funding to consolidate the company’s debt, install 90kw solar panels on site and create new office space.
Julian said: “When I was having building work done on my house, I realised a lot of the stuff in the skip had value. I then watched a documentary about what we do with waste and I became really interested in the subject.
“After a bit of research, I left my job in commercial real estate and bought a skip hire company on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. I had the aim of recycling all of the materials that are received.”
Starting with a turnover of £1.2m and 13 staff, RWG now has a turnover of £2.65m. It employs 20 people, including a former apprentice who has been taken on full time. There are plans to employ another six people in 2022.
Julian continued: “Our vision is to ‘end waste in all that we do’. We only work with commercial customers that share our ethos. We have a very good duty of care and know where all of the materials go.
“I chose to refinance with Unity because of their values and the expertise of their bank managers Andy Ball and James Whittaker. Our previous bank didn’t have a clue about the systems we have to follow or what we need to invest in. Andy and James understood our business and what we’re trying to achieve.
“Unity’s values resonated with me too and I feel we have the right partner we can grow with.”
Andy Ball, Relationship Manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “We work with businesses that address social, economic and environmental needs in local communities. We were delighted to support Radical Waste Group.
“Julian has turned a regular skip hire company into one that eliminates waste through recycling and reuse. This is better for the environment, and has helped boost the local economy through job creation.”
Having secured planning permission, RWG aims to generate its own power by constructing a small-scale energy plant later this year.
Julian added: “Our aim is to become a self-sustainable site. We want to provide power and heat to our processes while also recovering and recycling materials in a better way. If we can’t recycle something, we want to be able to turn it into power.”
To find out more about how Unity Trust Bank can support your business, please visit www.unity.co.uk.