Testing time for expansion

Paul Theile, Director of Screen4 (right) and Karl Hodson from Finance Yorkshire
Paul Theile, Director of Screen4 (right) and Karl Hodson from Finance Yorkshire
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Barnsley screening firm targets new markets

Public sector cuts are opening up new opportunities for a Barnsley company that specialises in ensuring anyone ranging from an airline pilot to a convict is drug and alcohol free.

Screen 4, based at Carlton, near Barnsley, supplies diagnostic testing products and laboratory services to the healthcare market as well as advice, training and testing for a number of sectors including the airline and maritime industries and the prison service.

Now, the company is planning to expand and take advantage of new opportunities with the help of a £50,000 business loan from Finance Yorkshire, the £90 million initiative to bridge the funding gap restricting the growth of smaller firms across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Screen 4 director, David Grouse, said: “Much of the public sector central purchasing is being reduced and being put in the hands of local purchasers. Finance Yorkshire has accelerated our plan to target decision makers locally and has helped us to utilise this opportunity.”

Screen 4 provides diagnostic kits, collection agents, results and independent analysis and has operations at airports in Australia, China, Singapore and The Middle East, assisting airline companies that are required to randomly test 20 per cent of their workforce, who are involved in safety critical operations.

The company not only sees scope for expansion in those markets, but also in domestic markets in the private sector.

“Directors of companies are coming under more pressure to test for drugs and alcohol abuse and that will develop over the next few years,” said David Grouse.

“In the drug rehabilitation market people have to be tested two or three times a week to check they are taking their medication and are not relapsing. Entering these markets as well as the maritime sector further will only increase Screen 4’s success.”

Screen4 is using the Finance Yorkshire’s funding to target the UK healthcare market, drug rehabilitation and prison sectors.

Finance Yorkshire’s investment manager, Karl Hodson, said: “Screen 4 is a niche company managing to reach mass markets.

“They are winning new business even when competing with large corporations. Their standard of service and thorough attitude makes them an attractive company and one which will thrive in the future.”