Started from scratch in 2010, Bannachra Developments owns and operates the Seasons Coffee House, a charming café on the seafront overlooking the Firth of Clyde. During that time the business has developed a stream of repeat business, a strong reputation and a net turnover of £200,000.
Like many café and bar owners, Bannachra Developments director Wilson Blair was keen to expand beyond his established consumer base. He had identified a nearby business with a retiring owner and wanted to take it over as a way of increasing his ability to bring in more customers.
Wilson needed a flexible and simple finance solution that could quickly be raised to meet his ambitions. He explained: ‘For instance, we considered the option of taking out a commercial mortgage on the property and then an unsecured loan on top of that. However, it was difficult finding someone to take the mortgage on the property.’
That is when he came across peer-to-peer lending, which offered him a more bespoke financing method. Once registered with LendingCrowd and after working with our in-house Credit Team, Bannachra Developments and its plans were presented to a crowd of lenders. Before long Wilson had raised his target sum of £93,600 with a five-year term and could push through with his plans.
With the target sum reached, Wilson has been able to acquire the other business and begin his expansion plans.
‘Right now, we are doing well. We only just got the keys to the property but we are already starting to refit it,’ he said. ‘We are also applying for permits to extend the property. At the moment, the property faces out onto the waterfront so we are hoping to build a conservatory onto that. We are hoping to be finished with the refurb by the beginning of next year [Wilson spoke to LendingCrowd in December 2016] so then the business can grow throughout 2017.’
‘Through LendingCrowd we were effectively able to gain a loan for the company to purchase and renovate the property we had in mind. I found LendingCrowd to be very helpful and they ensured the process was straightforward and comfortable.’
Wilson Blair, Director, Bannachra Developments