Partner:BFS & MSIF
Programme:Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
Bricks in Bloom, a Lego retail business, secured a £75,000 loan from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, managed by GC Business Finance in partnership with MSIF and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
Based in Carlisle, Cumbria, Bricks in Bloom started out making Lego flowers for weddings, and has evolved into an online retail store for Lego products. It has quickly become one of the leading brick suppliers in the UK, distributing via Brick Owl and Brick Link, the leading brick marketplaces, and allows customers to build their own minifigures at various shows around the country. Bricks in Bloom offers Lego pieces that are from limited edition ranges as well as old stocks that Lego no longer supplies.
The NPIF loan has provided Bricks in Bloom working capital to ensure they can offer the largest range of Lego in the UK, take on two new members of staff and move to new premises that are four times the size of their existing unit. They have also been able to launch their pop-up shop which will be available to visit between 17th July and 6th August in The Lanes Shopping Centre in Carlisle.
Bricks in Bloom said: “Demand for our unique products and our ability to provide Lego pieces that are otherwise impossible to get has shot up in recent years. We’ve been amazed with the response, and are so excited to be able to strengthen our offering for our customers. This loan will enable us to provide an even better service to our customers, and our larger premises means that we’ll be able to stock even more rare pieces.”
Kevin Glover, fund manager at GC Business Finance, said: “It’s been great working with Bricks in Bloom and watching it go from strength to strength. Its recent growth is a testament to its products and innovation. There’s no doubt that the next few months are going to be busy and the pop-up store is sure to be a huge hit again when they open in July.”
Steve Curl, Cumbria LEP Board Member and Member of the NPIF Strategic Oversight Board, said: “It’s great to see Bricks in Bloom building their business with financial support from NPIF’s Microfinance Fund. Hopefully this will encourage other rapidly growing businesses in Cumbria to take advantage of debt or equity provision from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.”
Sue Barnard at the British Business Bank, said: “We’re committed to driving growth in the regions, and it’s brilliant to see Bricks in Bloom have such a clear plan for expansion, while keeping its operations in Cumbria. As we recover from the pandemic, businesses such as Bricks in Bloom are going to be vital in pushing forward the levelling up agenda, and it’s great to see NPIF supporting another business during such a critical time.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project 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 and the European Investment Bank.
The MSIF group of funds are managed by Alliance Fund Managers Limited which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the course of investment business. Financial Conduct Authority Registration Number is 180891.
BFS Funding Managers Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Small Authorised UK AIFM under firm reference number 608682.
If you would like to meet with one of NPIF's appointed Fund Managers to talk in more detail please go to Funds Available to find the Fund Managers operating in your area