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3rd June 2019

Investment fund backs Cornish boat building business

Cornish start-up, Henderson Fletcher Yachts, has received a £39,500 loan from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) to support its boat building business.

The Gweek-based firm will manufacture high end, sail powered yachts and motor cruisers to be sold to clients worldwide via an international brokering network.

A 44ft hull, deck and basic superstructure has already been purchased for the first project, ‘Yacht Sofia’, with primary engineering taking place over the coming months. The funding received will primarily be used to create new jobs, enabling the business to begin its growth journey.

Henderson Fletcher Yachts’ owner, Samuel Foster, a qualified shipwright with over twenty years’ boat construction experience working for major yards in Bristol and Cornwall, said: “Once the initial build is complete the sales process can start, allowing the full fit-out to then be more bespoke. This means however, that the business will have a pre-income period of heavy investment. Getting funding for this type of project is obviously not easy and we are excited to have secured a CIOSIF loan to help us through this stage.”

The deal was handled by SWIG Finance who are working with fund managers The FSE Group to deliver the small business loans part of the fund. SWIG’s Business Manager Mike Wall commented: “Sam is committed to growing a viable business based on premium build quality at fair pricing, given his relatively low overheads. With future expansion funded from retained capital, this is an opportunity to provide ongoing economic value in the area, along with quality training for sustainable, high-quality employment.”

John Acornley, non-executive director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, added: “The fund exists to help small businesses in Cornwall and Scilly overcome barriers to accessing the finance they need to grow and create jobs. This is a great example of how this alternative finance can help a new business get off the ground and I would urge any business with growth ambitions to look into how the fund might help.”

The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the LEP and is operated by appointed fund managers FSE Group.

CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. Further investment has come from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local LEP and HM Government.

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