The Business Growth Fund (BGF) has invested £4.5m into West-Midlands business Simworx.
The business designs and supplies innovative media-based theme park attractions – including a major attraction at Shrek’s Adventure theme park and the Angry Birds 4D experience at Thorpe Park.
Part of the money will be put towards acquiring RoboCoaster – the “game-changing innovator” behind some of the world’s most successful theme park rides. The money will also be used to double the size of its production plant in Kingswinford and increase its demonstration facilities.
The business will also add to its existing 30 employees by recruiting a further 20 new members of staff in the next 12 months including designers, engineers and administrative staff.
Simworx’ first Immersive Tunnel ride, The Lost Temple, was delivered to Movie Park Germany in May 2014. Since then the business has secured further Immersive Tunnel orders and has been in talks with theme parks in the UK, US, Asia and the Middle East.
Warwickshire based RoboCoaster is led by Gino De-Gol, an internationally recognised developer of Intellectual Property for the use of passenger carrying robotic technology and trackless dark rides.
The acquisition will combine RoboCoaster’s robotics capability with Simworx’s Motion Simulation and Audio Visual experience. Having already collaborated extensively under a Teaming Agreement, the two businesses will now concentrate on the development and manufacture of a new generation of ride technologies and robot based show solutions. Gino will remain as a director of the business and play a lead role in the project.
To further enhance the management team, Mike Lloyd will also join as non-executive chairman following an introduction made by BGF. Mike has more than forty years’ experience in engineering, manufacturing and supply chain roles in the electrical machinery and power sectors.
His senior leadership roles have included group manufacturing director and President of Rolls Royce Gas Turbines Operations and technical director of GEC Large Machines.
Simworxs MD Terry Monkton said that, after speaking with the BGF for 15 months, “now is the right time to integrate the activities of Simworx and RoboCoaster following a productive partnership”.
“Demand for media-based attractions that offer visitors a new type of experience and can also provide entertainment regardless of weather conditions is growing exponentially – and we are well placed to meet that demand,” he continued.
“We will continue to focus on delivering technical excellence and this funding allows us to be even more adventurous and innovative with our research and design, with several new products in development.
“This, combined with Mike Lloyd’s experience and expertise in supply chain management, puts us in a strong position to work on projects with the most exciting attraction venues globally.”
Further reading: BGF invests £16.3m across two projects