A Hull-based property company who had difficulty financing their plans for a disused factory brought their project to life through the Humber LEP Business Loan Fund.
Howard Curtis, Director of Curport Properties, envisioned creating a new multi-purpose business centre on a site on Freightliner Road in Hull, but traditional lending streams such as banks did not want to fund such a project.
The banks the company applied to would only fund projects on buildings of a lettable condition – which this was not. However, Mr Curtis could see how financially viable this site would be on completion of the renovation works – with its popular location easily accessible from the A63 – and sought other ways to fund the project.
The site, which formerly housed Cavaghan and Gray, had not been used for a decade and stood on a Humber LEP Business Enterprise Zone.
Through the Business Loan Fund, Humber LEP provided a loan of £600,000 to get the project up and running. Soon work began on demolition at the site, taking down a number of unused and derelict buildings, while updating the fabric of the main warehouse to repurpose it for future use. It is expected to be completed by August 2019.
Though the project is mid-completion, with diggers still tearing down the derelict buildings, the company has already found tenants for some areas of the project.
One of these tenants will be TeamSport, a go-karting company who will be completing a refurbishment of the building to create a new indoor track after receiving planning permission for the site. The state of the art indoor centre will feature a multi-level circuit complete with customer facilities including a kids party room, spectator areas and licensed bar.
Mr Curtis said that discussions are also taking place with other companies that will occupy various parts of the centre, and once completed and occupied it is expected the project will create upwards of 50 jobs.
The Director added that the project simply would not have happened were they not successful in applying for the Humber LEP Business Loan Fund.
The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership’s Business Loan Fund provides loans to businesses to help get stalled development projects off the ground.
It is designed to unlock capital projects that have the potential for job creation and can quickly deliver tangible economic outcomes through providing additional capital investment.
The aim of the loan fund is to support development projects which have a significant economic impact and support sustainable job creation.
In order to be applicable for the fund, applicants must adhere to the following criteria –
- Projects must be capital schemes that are ‘ready to go’ and are able to generate sustainable employment quickly
- Projects must be located in, and significantly contribute to, the economy of the Humber and provide additional economic activity
- Projects should have outline planning consent and/or a reasonable expectation that full planning consent will be granted within six months.
- Projects must be demonstrably capital, meaning that an investment:
- Must be used for the acquisition or enhancement of an identifiable asset with a life of more than one year
- Cannot be used to fund assets where there is an expectation of immediate re-sale.
For more information on the Business Loan Fund, visit https://www.humberlep.org/business/funding/loan-fund/eligibility-and-how-to-apply/