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Norwich energy research firm Cornwall Insight plans to expand abroad after securing private-equity cash

PUBLISHED: 08:29 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:44 04 November 2019

Cornwall Insight founder Nigel Cornwall, right, and chief executive, Gareth Miller, centre, with non-executive chairman, Volker Beckers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Cornwall Insight founder Nigel Cornwall, right, and chief executive, Gareth Miller, centre, with non-executive chairman, Volker Beckers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

An energy research and consultancy business is aiming to enter European markets after securing "substantial" backing from an investment firm.

Cornwall Insight founder Nigel Cornwall, right, and chief executive, Gareth Miller, centre, with non-executive chairman, Volker Beckers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCornwall Insight founder Nigel Cornwall, right, and chief executive, Gareth Miller, centre, with non-executive chairman, Volker Beckers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Cornwall Insight, based in Norwich, is already making plans to open an office in Dublin and could target other markets in western Europe after receiving minority investment from private equity fund BGF.

The Future50 firm believes changing legislation and technology in the energy industry will continue to drive demand for its research and analysis as companies, and government bodies, try to keep ahead of the curve.

Chief executive Gareth Miller said he expected an Irish office to open in the first quarter of 2018 and the firm would be putting additional products on the market.

He said: "Cornwall has been a fast growth company for a number of years and we reached the point earlier this year where the potential for growth was obvious to us, as a strong local business with a national footprint. To do that we needed to bring in some additional capital."

As well as growth abroad, Mr Miller said there was the potential for additional UK offices and he expected the team to grow from 53 to 100 over the next five years - with many of those in Norwich. He added the company had grown from £1m turnover in 2012 to be on target to hit £4.5m turnover this year.

Volker Beckers, former group chief executive of RWE Npower, has joined the board as non-executive chairman to help steer the business through the next stage of growth.

Cornwall founder Nigel Cornwall will continue to advise the firm while also focusing on sister company Pixie Energy.

Mr Cornwall said: "Stepping back a year, we had a number of plans we were looking at but it would have been a choice between competing opportunities. With BGF's backing we could possibly do all of those things providing we make the business case."

Mr Beckers said he was excited to be working with a talented team and said he saw great promise in the model. "Change is an opportunity," he said. "People are looking at markets in a different way and where they used to have five or six of their own analysts they can no longer afford that.

"Now they can access a service which is responding to the need for better information keeping them ahead of the curve."Norwich-based accountancy firm JDC Corporate Finance and East Anglian law firm Birketts supported the deal.

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