A Stafford based entrepreneur who set up a curtain wall and façade engineering company has been able to secure a number of high-profile building contracts since obtaining funding from the Staffordshire Business Loan Fund.
Lordswood Architectural Ltd, established in 2012, was formed when Dee Benning decided to fulfil a lifetime ambition of running his own business, after being made redundant from a company operating in the same sector. Whilst most mainstream financial institutions rejected Dee’s applications for funding the Staffordshire Business Loan Fund was quickly on hand to help.
The Staffordshire Business Loan Fund is run in conjunction with Staffordshire County Council and managed by BCRS Business Loans. It is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and loans of £10,000 to £50,000 are made available to viable Staffordshire businesses that are unable to secure finance from mainstream lenders.
Dee Benning, Managing Director of Lordswood Architectural, said, “During the period of intense uncertainty that comes with redundancy, when many would be feeling pessimistic about the future, I saw it as an opportunity.
“Unfortunately finance was my only barrier – in particular, my inability to secure it from lenders. I approached BCRS Business Loans for funding in order to fuel the growth of Lordswood and, more specifically, to purchase a delivery vehicle. BCRS listened to my proposals and could see the potential in the business when others doubted me. My assigned loan officer came out to meet me and was very helpful at every stage of the loan process. Quite simply, Lordswood wouldn’t be where it is today without support from the Staffordshire Business Loan Fund.”
Lordswood Architectural, based in Stafford, has a vast amount of experience in delivering high quality curtain wall and façade solutions across all project sectors. The success of Lordswood has now resulted in a workforce of over 25 people, allowing for an in-house team of designers and project managers to offer a comprehensive service for all customers and contracts.
“BCRS Business Loans were very fair and flexible to work with so I had no hesitation in contacting them again for a top-up loan. We are now in a position to relocate to larger premises so that we are able to accommodate new machinery and employees, with plans to hire a further 5 staff members in the near future.”
Paul Kalinauckas, Chief Executive of BCRS, said, “BCRS is proud of its flexible approach to lending. Most banks would have avoided Lordswood because, at the time, businesses operating within the construction industry were considered to be a high risk investment, with many going into bankruptcy.
“We analyse loan applications on individual merit without basing our decision purely on computerised credit ratings. We take time to look at the business and the people running it first, because our security is the quality of the operation itself”.
Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington said: “The loan fund is continuing to make a real difference to small businesses in Staffordshire and means more people are in employment. Lordswood’s success demonstrates this further – it has done exceptionally well to build up its workforce in such a short space of time. The company is growing, winning contracts nationally and taking on more people. I’m pleased the loan fund has supported Dee and his business which in turn is playing its part in our ongoing economic growth. This is exactly why we wanted to set up the fund here in Staffordshire.”
Adding another accolade to its list, Lordswood Architectural won the ‘Most Promising New Start-up’ award from the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce in July, signifying a bright future for the firm.
For any Staffordshire based businesses looking for access to finance please contact BCRS Business Loans through the fast track online application facility at www.bcrs.org.uk or call 0845 313 8410.