Bents Garden and Home hub gets £2m loan to help it through lockdown

A large garden centre near Wigan has received £2m from a Government-backed loan scheme to help it through the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
Bents Garden and HomeBents Garden and Home
Bents Garden and Home

Bents Garden and Home secured the lifeline from Barclays via the CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme).

The finance will ensure that the business can get through a difficult time for the industry – which is seasonal and relies on spring and summer sales for a large proportion of its annual revenue.

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Bent, based near Leigh, is a family-run garden centre established in 1937.

The centre employs over 500 people and has evolved into a popular lifestyle destination.

While the food store and online trading remains open for business, all other on-site retail trading has been closed by the pandemic to comply with Government guidance. Like most garden centres, peak spring season is a critically important trading period - and the lockdown looked set to have dire consequences for the business’s income streams.

Bents’ finance director Brian Daniels said: “Gardening is naturally very seasonal so what we earn in the spring and summer gets us through to the Christmas trading period. For the first half of March, we were very busy but then everything stopped with the announcement of the lockdown”

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“Whilst we have managed to maintain limited trading through our food store and online, the lockdown was going to have a huge impact on our business, so we asked Barclays for support.

“Our relationship director Giles Barton said, ‘Yes, we can lend you the money to get you through this.’ I can’t speak too highly of the expeditious way in which Barclays processed our business interruption loan application. We submitted an application and the money was in our account just a few days later.

“The loan gives us certainty on our immediate cash flow requirements and ensures that we will be here for our customers after the lockdown finishes.”

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