A North East fitness equipment company established by one of the original founders of Sage and a former Newcastle United physiotherapist has secured £500,000 in funding from the Leeds office of Reward Finance Group.

Speedflex supplies gyms throughout the country, and currently has 14 studios operating in the UK.

The business was established and funded by entrepreneur Graham Wylie, one of the original founders of Sage, and Paul Ferris, a former Newcastle United physiotherapist.

Unlike traditional exercise machines, Speedflex does not use weights. Instead resistance is automatically adjusted in response to the user. This means that the machine responds and adjusts the resistance, allowing users to train efficiently and at an optimum level for the individual.

The company has experienced an increase in demand for the Speedflex machine and studio concept, which has created an urgent need to manufacture a further 80 machines.

The Leeds office of Reward Finance Group has provided Speedflex with a £500,000 revolving facility to support the process, having been introduced to the company by Peter Cromarty of North East-based intermediary Corporate and Commercial Business Solutions.

Mark Simpson, group finance director of Speedflex, said: “We have had to act quickly to meet the demand for the machines and while this could have been funded from further internal investment, the process ideally suited utilising a revolving facility.

“We are therefore grateful to Reward who quickly recognised Speedflex’s potential and provided us with a flexible funding solution, which met perfectly with our requirement.

“The facility will enable us to settle stage payments, as they become due, and reduce the facility at the point of sale. It will also allow us to grow the business at the pace we require.”

Alan Sanderson, portfolio manager at Reward Finance Group, added: “The amount of orders being received for the Speedflex machines demonstrates that this new technology is a great addition to the gym market, moving forwards.

“We therefore had no hesitation in providing a flexible funding solution to help the company quickly fulfil the orders and facilitate further expansion, as demand dictates.”