£1.45m finance deal for Wiltshire medical firm to boost production of Covid-19 test swabs

May 19, 2020

A Wiltshire medical products manufacturer behind a world-beating specialist swab has secured a £1.45m finance package from Barclays to help the NHS’s Covid-19 testing.

Medical Wire & Equipment (MWE), based in Corsham, is expecting to recruit 30 more staff – taking its total workforce to 120 – as it increases production of its virus transport swabs for the NHS. 

The firm was set up 68 years ago in founder Stanley Broggio’s garden shed. In 1975 it revolutionised the industry with its ground-breaking Transwab.

The product, which is still heralded as the industry standard across the globe, allows specimens to be taken and then safely transferred to a laboratory for analysis.

Today MWE has an extensive range of swabs, control and testing equipment, and forensic and laboratory supplies, producing more than 100m items a year for customers across domestic and global markets. 

The new funding will help it buy specialised machinery to increase its production of virus transport swabs in addition to boosting its working capital and foreign exchange capabilities. 

The 30 new staff will help meet the unprecedented level of demand for its products as it gears up to supply additional items to the NHS for coronavirus testing.

Chairman Andrew Broggio, grandson of Stanley, said: “Without Barclays help, we would not have been able to scale up production of our virus transport products to assist in the fight against Covid-19. 

“The partnership with Barclays has put us on track to increase production eight-fold by September and repatriate manufacturing capability, therefore developing resilience in the UK medical device sector.”

Barclays Bath relationship director John Squier added: “MWE is an impressive firm with leading medical technology that is currently in high demand both domestically and internationally. 

“I’m proud that Barclays has been able to support a local manufacturer with the necessary funding to accelerate their production of their vital testing equipment to support the NHS at what is a very challenging time for us all.”



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