A wood products distributor has secured £300,000 in development capital to support its plans to grow its product line.

Halesowen-based Blackheath Products sells decorative laminate, solid wood and solid surface worktops.

It is now importing from Australia coloured, acrylic panels which have the look and feel of glass but have 25 times the strength.

It said it believed the product, called Akril, would appeal to the architectural and interior design market and help boost Blackheath's annual sales by £1.5 million a year to £25 million.

The £300,000 finance package has been arranged by Joanne Yapp-Pennino, senior international commercial manager with HSBC in Birmingham, who has managed the company's relationship since 2009.

It was allocated from the bank's £500 million SME Fund for West Midlands businesses, £200 million of which has been earmarked specifically for companies from Birmingham.

Blackheath is a fifth-generation company founded in the 1930s as a timber component supplier for the furniture industry and now operates from a 100,000 sq ft site on Fairfield Park, employing 105 people.

It was founded by the great grandfather of current managing director Ian Foster whose two daughters work for the company.

Mr Foster said: "We are excited by the potential of this new product and we think it will especially appeal to the architectural and interior design sectors of the construction and furniture industries which look for something that little bit different for their projects.

"The company that supplies Akril originally focused on the automotive sector but it is now targeting other sectors.

Ms Yapp-Pennino added: "Blackheath is a well-known local business that has been in family hands since being founded in the late 30s.

"The company is always striving to innovate and offer a better service to its customers and this new product marks the next positive stage in the company's development."

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