Repurposing decommissioned assets used during the pandemic
Seneca Partners (“Seneca”), the specialist SME investment business based in the North West, has made an investment of £500K into Alderley Lighthouse Labs (ALL), a pathology services provider founded by the team responsible for the UK’s largest diagnostic lab network project.
ALL was founded in March 2022 by Mark Wigglesworth and Simon Chapman who established the emergency ‘Lighthouse’ capability at Alderley Park during the Covid-19 pandemic. It grew to ‘super-lab’ status that ultimately accommodated over 750 staff members and processed 100,000 Covid-19 tests a day.
The funding from Seneca Growth Capital VCT and an additional £150k of SEIS investment will facilitate growth and the roll out of the commercial model, which has already seen the acquisition and repurposing of decommissioned assets used during the pandemic, to address the excess demand for diagnostic testing and other lab services in the UK.
The Company will support both public and private customers in the UK from its full-service diagnostic facility in Alderley Park. With an initial focus on blood science and molecular diagnostics, the service offering will quickly grow to include histology and next generation sequencing (oncology), which demonstrates the breadth and depth of experience within the team.
Victoria Edwards, Investment Manager at Seneca Partners commented: “This investment into Alderley Lighthouse Labs represents an exceptional opportunity for our investors to back two highly respected and uniquely experienced individuals in an exciting and rapidly growing area. We are thrilled to partner with them on this journey and look forward to what should be an exciting period of growth for the company, capitalising on the changing dynamics in the lab services sector.”
Mark Wigglesworth, CEO at Alderley Lighthouse Labs Ltd said: “We are delighted to have secured funding for the Company and to have found a partner that believes in the future of Diagnostics in the same way we do. We are looking forward to applying key lessons learnt during the pandemic to enable people to define, improve and sustain their health.”
Alderley Lighthouse Labs was advised by Alex Clarkson of Bamburgh Capital (CF) and Slater Heelis (legal). Seneca Growth Capital VCT was advised by James Down and James Redshaw of Hill Dickinson’s Manchester team.
Notes to Editors
Formed in 2010, Seneca Partners is an award-winning specialist SME investment and advisory business based in the North West of England. The team brings together decades of success in providing bespoke investment and advisory solutions for clients across a multitude of financial areas including VCT, EIS & IHT product offerings. With over 70 staff working from three offices, Seneca Partners maintains a strong regional presence in the North West and North of the UK, with strong deal flow in the SME heartland areas. Seneca is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Victoria Edwards, Equity Investment Director of Seneca Partners
Prior to joining Seneca in 2021, Victoria worked in a Corporate Finance (M&A) advisory capacity. For ten years spent working at award-winning North-West-based Corporate Finance boutique she was involved with mid-market transactions ranging broadly from £5m to £100m covering trade disposals, debt refinancing and PE backed deals in a variety of sectors encompassing chemical distribution, insurance broking and consumer products among others. She was involved in the private equity and tech angel fund investment activities also offered by these advisory outfits.
Before graduating from The University of York with a BSc in Economics Victoria spent some time as an observer at The European Court of Human Rights and The Council of Europe in Strasbourg. She is ACA qualified and also spent time in Australia working for a specialist division of Deloitte.