EDINBURGH-headquartered investment advisory firm Full Circle Partners, co-founded by entrepreneur Mike Welch, has taken a stake in a company specialising in tackling Japanese Knotweed and other invasive plants.

Full Circle Partners – set-up last year by Mr Welch who founded ‘click to fit’ online tyre retailer Blackcircles.com which he sold to Michelin in a £50 million deal in 2015 – has backed Oxfordshire-based TP Knotweed Solutions.

The corporate advisory firm is understood to have taken a 10% stake in the land remediation company, which currently specialises in the UK residential market, and is advising it around legal, property and business development.

TP Knotweed Solutions is moving into the commercial sector and is expecting to expand in the next 12 months as it grows its headcount from 22 to 28 and doubles its revenues.

Founded in 2011 by managing director Tom Payne, TP Knotweed Solutions provides remediation services to land owners, developers and public bodies for complex sites where Japanese Knotweed, among other contaminants, has prevented property and land transactions, caused planning permission problems and halted or delayed construction

Japanese Knotweed grows rapidly and is resilient so it requires professional intervention to ensure that it is successfully killed or removed. If left untreated it can exploit weaknesses in brick, tarmac and underground pipework, causing costly damage to roads and buildings.

TP Knotweed Solutions is expecting consolidation in the UK market which is characterised by small, regional players. Its client base is currently in England and Wales but it expects to add to its portfolio in Scotland.

Its cliens include JCDecaux, Bellway Homes, Midland Metro Alliance, Birmingham City Council, Knight Frank and the NHS, in addition to thousands of private residences.

Michael Welch OBE, director of Full Circle Partners, said: “We were impressed with Tom from the start and he’s built the best team in the UK to address what is an ever bigger problem for householders and companies alike. We’re excited to be backing TP Knotweed during their next phase of growth.”

Tom Payne, managing director and founder of TP Knotweed Solutions, said: “The industry is at something of a tipping point and with our commercial sector business beginning to really take off, having Mike and Full Circle Partners behind us and opening doors through its network is helping us to make great strides.”

Full Circle Partners was founded in 2017 and has offices in Singapore as well as Edinburgh. Its portfolio includes online fashion site Atterley and wearable tech startup PlayerData.