Foresight Group Invests £3m into Civil Engineering Business

Foresight Group has ploughed £3 million into Manchester bases civil engineering firm Utilities Design & Planning from the Foresight Regional Investment Fund.

UDP, a provider of traffic management and civil engineering services, offers inspections, planning works and project management of utilities, sewer connections and highways and rail schemes.

The firm has sales of around £6 million and employs 33 members of staff, a number that will rise through the use of sub-contractors.

The investment will allow the continued expansion of the company and the ability to make the most of the major infrastructure investments in the North West.

UDP was established in Salford 20 years ago by the current directors Noel Gallagher and David Hilton who will stay with the firm as part of the transaction.

Former MD at Enterprise, Richard Fraser, will join as non-executive chairman, and former FD at Amey Plc, David Atherton, will join as finance director to support the current management team.

This is the third investment from the £40 million FRIF which is led out of Foresight’s office in Manchester and invests in high growth SMEs in the North West area.

Managing Director UDP, Dave Hilton, commented: “The Manchester market is fast providing more opportunities for expansion with focus on a growing economy and infrastructure. Foresight’s support will allow us to engage with this growth in activity through driving sales, and by expanding services into adjacent geographies to meet emerging demands.”

Among UDP’s clients are Manchester and Salford City Councils, Transport for Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Police and property developer Argent.

Claire Alvarez, senior investment manager, Foresight added: “UDP has demonstrated strong growth in recent years, and is a great example of the type of SME that we look for in the FRIF.”

Foresight WAS advised in the transaction by a team from Addleshaw Goddard led by Katie Simpson and Andy Green with financial due diligence provided by Stephen Green’s team at RSM, commercial diligence carried out by Roger Penny of RPL and management due diligence carried out by Mike Hicks of Catalysis.


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BDC 305 Jun 2023