Idyllic wedding venues turn to emergency bank support
Tregenna Castle Resort, in St Ives Cornwall has secured a £1m loan from Lloyds Bank to help secure the business’ future after the hotel, self-catering, leisure and events venue was forced to shut amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
The coastal resort secured the finance in preparation for a significant drop in revenue, with quarantine restrictions falling ahead of its busy season for providing holidays, events and weddings.
The resort typically hosts 100,000 holidaymakers and 120 weddings a year. It usually employs 120 staff, which rises to 150 between April and October to cater for increased demand. The majority of its staff are currently on furlough.
Its new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) financing, gives the resort the financial flexibility to keep a skeleton staff of 15 on site, including security and maintenance contractors to help maintain the grounds.
The finance will also enable Tregenna to invest in its marketing activities to help attract bookings in preparation for reopening, with the support of Cheltenham based hospitality marketing agency, Journey.
To help sustain income through the coming weeks, the resort is also launching a new takeaway delivery service from its Brasserie, with drinks and classic Cornish dishes on the menu for local residents.
The resort expects its self-catering accommodation, set in 72 acres of open grounds, to be the first to resume trading if quarantine restrictions are lifted on a phased basis. It plans to make contactless check in available, with picnics and cream tea on offer to guests for delivery, keeping residents safe in compliance with social distancing measures, if still required.
John Mason, principle shareholder at Tregenna Castle Resort said: “The current situation is one that no business can effectively prepare for, but our senior team was braced for a major hit ahead of lockdown being implemented – giving them a head start for contingency planning.
“The support we’ve had has been beyond expectation. The team at Lloyds Bank responded to our situation with haste and the finance was quickly put in place. This allows us to plan with real confidence towards opening our doors again very soon.”
Phil Davies, relationship director at Lloyds Bank said: “While completely necessary, lockdown measures have served a great blow to Tregenna’s balance sheet, with holidays, weddings and conferences forced to cancel.
“As a significant local employer, the finance secured by the resort ultimately helps to ensure that a job will be there at the end of this term for its many hardworking staff. Meanwhile, Tregenna will be polished and ready to welcome back guests hungry for a getaway as soon as the time is right.”