A Truro company developing innovative spaces for living and working is the latest business to receive funding from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF).

ISO Spaces repurposes some of the world’s 14 million unused shipping containers into usable areas for commercial and community activity, as well as modular housing.

Since the business was launched in 2011, it has moved from converting containers into garden offices and gyms, to providing classrooms, commercial office space, bars and cafés, show rooms and pop-up shops for well-known brands.

The £850k CIOSIF loan will be used to almost double the workforce and recruit and train around 20 new staff as well as increase technical and production capacity and implement a marketing strategy to drive the growth of the business.

MD Ben Treleaven said: “Over the past eight years we have expanded our bespoke build service to meet the requirements of clients using shipping containers for many different uses. The CIOSIF loan comes at a crucial point, enabling us to progress our hotel offering, developing and deploying our new permanently portable modular product to deliver hotel units nationally over the next three to five years.

“This is an opportunity for significant growth and the funds will allow us to invest in our infrastructure and take on major new contracts at a time when traditional finance streams are not readily available to us.”

The £40 million Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25k to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is operated by appointed fund manager FSE Group.