Patented environmental solutions business secures funding to invest in product development and open a new laboratory in Lancashire 

NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”) and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has invested £500,000 in Advanced Bacterial Sciences Ltd (“ABS”), which creates, manufactures and sells biological solutions for a range of real-world pollution and maintenance problems. The funding will enable ABS to commercialise its portfolio of products, sell directly to end users, as well as invest in continuous product development, patenting future technologies and scientific advances. 

Headquartered at the Environment Centre, Lancaster University, the investment will also enable ABS to open a laboratory and office in Morecombe, Lancashire. The new location will help to reduce outsourcing of third party bacteria creation and offer a more tailored approach to its clients’ needs. ABS will also create an innovation centre that will co-locate other complimentary start-ups and researchers to carry out their research and innovation. This centre of excellence will function as an incubator to create specialist jobs in the region, reducing the brain drain currently occurring in the local higher education institutes. 

ABS has a number of product lines harnessing bacterial solutions that address pressing environmental problems. Its current investment in improvements in bacterial science ensure its products lead ‘inter alia’ to: a reduction in uric acid build-up in urinals; unblocking of grease traps and connected infrastructure; and reduction in water pollution. These unique bacterial formulas are designed to digest pollution and waste by natural means only, and so avoid the use of damaging toxic chemicals. 

The scope of ABS’ bacteria solutions covers multiple large scale markets including: hospitality, sanitation, water management, agriculture, property management and construction. With a range of patented bacterial formulations, ABS aims to become a trusted partner and collaborator to its stakeholders, providing various complementary solutions to address the growing markets they operate in. 

The business is backed by a highly knowledgeable team, with technical expertise and skills across the sectors they operate in. Gareth Hughes, co-founder and Chairman/CEO, has a background as a corporate advisor with significant experience in low carbon enterprise, from start-ups to major public companies. He is also a founder of two capital advisory and funding firms and in this new venture, is backed by a strong and varied team across the organisation’s commercial and scientific departments. 

ABS is a member of RedCAT, a scheme launched earlier this year that aims to drive Lancashire’s post-pandemic recovery with investment in the latest low carbon technologies. 

Alex Rothwell, Senior Investment Manager at Maven, said: “ABS presents environmentally friendly solutions to global issues and the business has created and patented a range of products that have great potential market across numerous sectors. The highly experienced and commercially focused senior team are well placed to drive the growth ambitions of the business forward and we are delighted to 

support Gareth and management as they embark on a programme of expansion. ABS is a great example of the type of business we look to support in Lancashire and the wider North West.” 

Gareth Hughes, Chairman and CEO of ABS, said: “There has never been a better, nor more critical time to develop natural solutions to the challenges the world faces, and I’m excited to have Maven’s confidence and support. The scope of opportunity for our products is enormous, as is the appetite to trial and scale-up our products. Our team in Lancashire and beyond is eager to accelerate our work.” 

Debbie Francis OBE, Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: ”It’s great to hear that yet another Lancashire company has successfully secured equity investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which provides the opportunity for businesses within the region to realise their growth ambitions and create jobs. 

“ABS is a perfect example of the entrepreneurial and innovative flair which we are so proud of within Lancashire. They are not only providing solutions which will allow them to access global markets, but also make a significant contribution to the Net Zero agenda. They were part of the Lancashire delegation to COP26 as an exemplar working within this space. ABS is a growing company providing high quality jobs and a fitting recipient of this funding. I wish them well with their growth plans.” 

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: “The low carbon and renewable energy economy is a key sector for the Bank’s regional funds as they support the region’s businesses with their growth plans. Today’s investment into ABS is a great example of how the right kind of investment supports both economic growth and our move towards a low carbon economy. The NPIF funds are open for business and looking for similar opportunities.” 

The Northern Powerhouse 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.