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12 June 2015

Manufacturer of eco-friendly concrete blocks secures £500,000 investment

Press Release 12th June 2015

A North West company which specialises in the manufacture and supply of eco-friendly concrete blocks has secured £500,000 from The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental, managed by 350 Investment Partners.

Virtus Projects, which is based in Bromborough, Wirral, is the UK's only company to manufacture interlocking blocks made from 87 per cent recycled waste materials. Vitus Projects uses the brand name 'Blockwalls' (see website http://www.blockwalls.co.uk).

The blocks can be used for a variety of purposes such as flood and land defences, bulk storage, railway infrastructure and in sectors such as construction, civil engineering, environmental and infrastructure.

The demand for concrete is the second largest of any commodity in the world after water leading to an increased pressure to reduce C02 emissions created by concrete production. The Merseyside-based business, manufactures a concrete block using an innovative geopolymer concrete mix using 87 per cent recycled materials. This produces a lego-like
block with enhanced strength, saving 202 kg of C02 per block produced.

By using the unique combination of recycled materials and innovative silicates and alkaline
reagents, the novel interlocking blocks are energy and resource efficient reducing the cost of production by 30 per cent. They also significantly reduce C02 emissions as only 30kg of carbon is used in its manufacture compared to 232kg in normal concrete. This reduction for one block is the equivalent of driving 500 miles in a car.

The funding will be used by Virtus Projects to provide growth capital to help strengthen the sales team and manufacturing capabilities of the company, whilst researching expansion to the structural market. The company is hoping to create up to 20 jobs over the next three years.

Bob Evans managing director of Virtus Projects, said: "We are delighted to receive this significant investment from The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental. We have spent a great deal of time creating a cost effective, eco-friendly solution to concrete blocks that will lower C02 levels whilst also being economically beneficial to our customers and
contributing to the circular economy. This investment will allow us to strengthen our North West team as well as identify other market opportunities in other sectors."

Adam Workman, partner at 350 Investment Partners, said: "Blockwalls is a pioneering product that has the proven capability to lower the carbon footprint compared to existing concrete products and we look forward to supporting the business as it continues on its journey towards growth."

The investment in Virtus Projects has been made by The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental, which is financed jointly by the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund, and is managed by 350 Investment Partners.

350 Investment Partners is one of Europe's leading co-investors in clean technology companies. In addition to managing The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental, and historically advised the Carbon Trust on its venture capital activities.



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