A FAMILY-run business which designs and builds authentic Finnish saunas has praised a funding programme which has enabled it to move into bigger premises.
Finnmark Sauna was set up by brothers Jake and Max Newport in 2016 after spotting a gap in the market following a trip to the Nordic country.
Their visit and subsequent research into the market found there weren’t any companies selling the ‘proper Finnish sauna experience’ – and there was a real lack of understanding in the UK around the benefits of this system rather than the traditional saunas and spa commonplace in this country.
After launching from premises at DurhamGate in Spennymoor, the company quickly outgrew the space they occupied so applied to the County Durham Growth Fund for grant support.
Jake said: “Year on year our business has tripled and as a result, we quickly needed more space to grow.
“We applied to the County Durham Growth Fund and were successful, and that was instrumental in us being able to take on the extra space we needed.
“We now occupy 3,000 sq. metres across two sites at DurhamGate, with one site our manufacturing facility and the other our warehousing, distribution and sales centre.
“The extra space means we can not only target continued growth for the Finnmark Sauna brand, but also really push our trade brand which we’re investing heavily in at the moment.”
Finnmark Sauna has designed and installed saunas in celebrity homes, high-end hotel developments, spa retreats and residential properties of all sizes.
The County Durham Growth Fund is managed by Business Durham in partnership with UMi and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). All successful grant applications are appraised by UNW LLP, an independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers.
Sarah Slaven, Managing Director of Business Durham, said: “Finnmark Sauna was started by two entrepreneurial brothers who spotted a gap in the market and through a lot of hard work and unwavering belief in their vision, have created a multi-million-pound business, which has grown rapidly right here in County Durham.”
Simon Allen, Investment Centre Director at UMi, added: “Jake and Max started with nothing and are now running a hugely successful national business, which is now preparing for the next phase of its journey supported by grant investment from the County Durham Growth Fund.”
John Healey, Corporate Finance Partner at UNW LLP, said: “The fund is there to support home-grown businesses like Finnmark Sauna, that have plans to grow in County Durham and require additional funding to turn those plans into reality. It’s great to see the company doing so well.”
Finnmark Sauna now employs 25 people and installs around 70 saunas per year, with plans to increase that in 2022.
Jake added: “For us, the County Durham location has been a key component in our rapid growth. The cost of living against quality is second to none, there is so much talent here, rental prices are great and the access to air, rail, road, and sea is excellent – we can dispatch for next day delivery across the UK which is a real selling point for our business.
“We’ve also been lucky enough to secure funding and grant support to fast-track our plans, and I know that’s something that isn’t available everywhere.
“I honestly don’t think we’d have achieved what we have if we were based elsewhere in the country.”
To find out more about Finnmark Sauna visit https://finnmarksauna.com