George Roberts NW Secures £1M Loan To Help Them Through Lockdown

George Roberts NW

One of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of scaffolding and access equipment, George Roberts NW Ltd, has secured £1M from Barclays.

The Government-backed loan via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), will ensure that the business can get through a difficult time for the construction industry.

Based in Liverpool, for over 28 years George Roberts NW Ltd has been supporting and supplying their customers with expert advice, quality stock and reliable, fast delivery to ensure projects run smoothly throughout all sectors. However, with the effective shut down of the construction industry, many of the clients that they serve have not been able to continue with planned projects and consequently have had to defer a number of their capital and development projects, presenting significant cash flow challenges on the business until normal trading resumes.

However, the Board Directors along with Barclays set out to form a strong contingency plan to protect the business during this lockdown period and ensure strong long-term future liquidity going forward and has now secured £1 million through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which will help the business with the cash flow it needs to cover business costs and overcome the loss of all-important spring and summer sales.

Mark Roach, Finance Director of George Roberts NW Ltd, said: “During March and into April following the government lock down we quite naturally experienced a reduction in orders due mainly to most construction sites being totally shut down and inaccessible.

“Fortunately, although significant, this was not as destructive and damaging to our business as to some of our competitors, due to the diversity of markets we operate in i.e., industrial, offshore, nuclear, oil and gas and the food and drink industry.  We are considered an essential service and fortunately able to stay open to service these clients, while carefully following government guidelines to ensure the health and wellbeing of our loyal workforce.

“Our plan factored into account immediately furloughing a small group of staff, although strong continuous employment still remained vital to handle existing orders and new orders still coming in. The second part of plan involved applying for a ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan’ with Barclays, again guaranteeing liquidity and maintain a platform to ensure the business retains and even improves its status in the market place going forward.

“After presenting our business plan with all supporting assumptions to our Relationship Director at Barclays, the loan was sanctioned and deposited into our account within five days which we were extremely impressed with.  This is even more significant as we are in the process of having our 2019 Financial Statements signed off, and due to the strength of the balance sheet, combined with this loan and the strong long-term relationship with Barclays the ‘going concern’ statement will be very strong.  This will also provide our suppliers even greater confidence in our business going forward.”

Graham Duckworth, Barclays Relationship Director, explained: “I’ve been hugely impressed by both the resilience and the agility of the Board Directors to quickly develop a robust contingency plan to help safeguard the future of the business. From the very beginning, I was in regular contact with the Chairman and the Financial Director to discuss their needs and requirements. We spent time looking at their financial forecasts and put together a successful loan application and now they have the financial headroom to get through this disruptive period and be ready to reopen fully when the time comes.”