Shawbrook Asset Finance has agreed a £30m loan facility with Proton Partners International, a medical equipment manufacturer.

The asset-backed loan facility has been provided to Proton Partners International which is building the first proton beam therapy centres in the UK. The three centres will also offer traditional radiotherapy.

Shawbrook said centres for the equipment would open in Newport, London and Northumberland in the UK and would all be operational by 2018.

The equipment includes Ion Beam Applications (IBA) proton beam therapy machines, Elekta radiotherapy equipment and Philips imaging equipment. Patients will be introduced via NHS referrals, private medical insurance referrals and self-pay.

Shawbrook said it had a long established business relationship with Professor Sikora, a preeminent oncologist and the founder of and, until recently, Medical Director of Cancer Partners (CP), the UK’s leading provider of private cancer treatment.

Proton Partners International have already raised in excess of £63m of equity via the Welsh Life Sciences Fund and other funds managed by Woodford Investment Management.

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Andy James, managing director, Healthcare Finance of Shawbrook, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for Shawbrook. We understand the healthcare sector and we know the Proton Partners International team very well. As a leading specialist SME lender, we were keen to support them in setting up new proton beam cancer and radiation therapy treatment centres in the UK."