Bents Garden and Home secures £2m funding to help them through coronavirus lockdown

BENTS Garden and Home have secured £2m from Barclays through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to help them survive this pandemic.

Bents Garden and Home, based in Glazebury, is a family garden center established in 1937.

The center employs over 500 people and customers can purchase plants, outdoor furniture and barbecue grills as well as fresh food, gifts, clothing and more.

While the grocery store and e-commerce remain open, all other on-site retail businesses have been closed to comply with government guidelines.

Like most garden centres, the peak spring season is a critically important business period – and the lockdown looked set to have dire consequences for the business’s revenue streams.

However, the business has now secured £2million through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which will help the business with the cash flow it needs to overcome the loss of very large sales in the spring and in summer.

What started as a hobby in the 1930s for Alfred and Margaret Bent growing roses in the garden of their terraced house in Glazebury is now a very successful business.

Since 2001, the third generation of the Bents family – Matthew, Rachel, Helen and Katherine – have taken over the management of Bents.

As Managing Director, Matthew has already delivered one of the most innovative and progressive new garden center buildings in the UK, the Open Skies Glass House.

Brian Daniels, CFO of Bents Garden and Home, said: “Gardening is naturally very seasonal, so what we earn in the spring and summer gets us into the Christmas business period. For the first half of March, we were very busy but then everything stopped with the announcement of confinement.

“While we managed to maintain limited exchanges through our grocery store and online, the lockdown was going to have a huge impact on our business, so we reached out to Barclays for help and our relationship manager, Giles, said: “Yes, we can lend you the money to get you through this.

“I can’t appreciate how quickly Barclays handled our business interruption loan application. We submitted an application and the money was in our account a few days later. The loan gives us certainty about our immediate cash needs and ensures that we will be there for our customers after the lockdown ends.

Giles Barton, Barclays relationship manager, added: “Coronavirus hit Bents just as they were entering their busiest trading period. I worked with the family for many years, and we spent time reviewing their financial forecasts and preparing an application that would see them through this difficult time.

“For any business, there are a lot of moving parts, so we’ve helped them see the wood in the trees and now they have the financial leeway to get through this disruptive time and be ready to fully reopen when the time comes.”

Barclays is proposing a series of measures to help professional clients through this difficult period. For more information, visit barclays.co.uk/business-banking/coronavirus/ or barclayscorporate.com/covid-19/

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