Pubs firm lands £24m to expand

CHEERS: From let, Tim Rigg, of Lloyds, James Baer, of Amber, Clive Preston, of Amber, and Ashley Suter, Lloyds
CHEERS: From let, Tim Rigg, of Lloyds, James Baer, of Amber, Clive Preston, of Amber, and Ashley Suter, Lloyds
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BLACKPOOL-based traditional pub company Amber Taverns has agreed a £24m funding deal with Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets in Liverpool as it looks to break the £30m sales barrier for the first time.

The Blackpool-based business intends to use the new facility to add 12 new pubs every year to its existing portfolio of 80 across Northern England, the Midlands and North Wales.

The new deal – which sees the pub operator extend its existing credit facility with Lloyds Bank by £2.75m – was accepted under the Government’s National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS), an initiative launched by HM Treasury in March to help companies further reduce their borrowing costs by one percentage point.

Founded in 2005, Amber Taverns posted sales of £25.4m in 2011 and expects to see turnover exceed £32m this year as a result of its rapid ongoing expansion.

It employs 20 full-time staff at its head office and specialises in running drinks rather than food-led pubs located at the heart of communities which it refurbishes and which offer major televised sporting events.

The company, which has banked with Lloyds Bank since it was founded in 2005, said that it would continue to take advantage of reduced borrowing costs to maximise future growth.

Amber Taverns’ Chairman Clive Preston said: “We are on course to own 100 pubs within two years and then we will see just how far we can go after that.

“We are succeeding by giving our customers what they want – value-for-money and the best sporting events in some terrific venues. As a result, each of our pubs now has an average profit of more than £100,000 per annum.

“A major part of our success has been the on-going support and guidance we’ve received from Lloyds Bank’s Liverpool office which has an outstanding knowledge of this sector and the requirements of our business.”

Ashley Suter, Relationship Director from Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets for Merseyside, North Wales and West Lancashire, said: “We’ve worked with Amber Taverns’ team right from the start and the company continues to flourish in one of the most competitive sectors by ensuring that communities have pubs which they clearly love and keep returning to.”