A Middlesbrough-based manufacturer and supplier of performance sportswear is set to unlock its growth potential, as a result of its longstanding partnership with Tees Valley Business Compass.

GRN Sportswear, a sports clothing company specifically for the cycling, triathlon and athletic wear markets, is aiming to secure £10,000 worth of funding through Business Compass in order to boost its brand awareness and branch out from its Tees Valley roots.

The funding and business support will allow the firm to attend major trade shows, such as The Cycle Show, the UK’s largest cycling trade show.

GRN manufactures its products using ethically sourced, sustainable recycled materials, including plastic bottles and abandoned fishing nets. Established in 2014 by Directors Rob Webbon and Peter Lillie, the firm is committed to and supports UK manufacturing, with all of its technical products made in Britain.

Business Compass has supported GRN since 2016, as it helped source a suitable location for the business when Rob and Peter focused all their efforts into the business and went full-time, having worked part-time on the venture since 2014.

The pair were put in touch with Growth Consultant, Neil MacGillivray, who assisted with the relocation to Teesside University’s Victoria Building, and later through the funding process.

Peter Lillie, Director of GRN Sportswear, said: “GRN has grown and developed so much in only three years and the guidance and advice along the way has been instrumental to our progression. The ultimate aim is to develop the manufacturing process strictly within Tees Valley, utilising local supply chains and sourcing goods within the UK, as we look to reduce our own carbon footprint.

“Neil and the Business Compass team have been big supporters of GRN and the backing has allowed us to think differently and focus solely on growing the business. The additional support through the funding will hopefully allow us to take the next step and branch out of our traditional Tees Valley roots by amplifying the GRN brand to more audiences so we can tap into different markets.”

The support available for companies through Tees Valley Business Compass, the local growth hub, comes from an investment of more than £9.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), secured by Tees Valley Combined Authority. Support is available for growth, along with projects that increase broadband connectivity, research and development, innovation, and energy efficiency.

Neil MacGillivray, Growth Consultant at the Tees Valley Business Compass, said: “GRN is a unique Tees Valley business, which is committed to reducing carbon footprints through the production of sustainable sportswear. The cycling and health and fitness markets have grown considerably in recent years, given the region and country’s involvement in high profile sporting events, and GRN’s unique offering is capitalising on this perfectly. “It has been a pleasure to work with Rob, Peter and the team to assist with the development of a great idea, fuelled by passion for sport and fitness, and support their business journey.”