21st January 2021
Athlete Factory, a high-level fitness and sports performance company based in Chester, has received a six-figure NPIF loan backed by CBILS from NPIF – BSF & MSIF Microfinance, managed by specialist social impact lender GC Business Finance and MSIF and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
Founded by Phil Greening, a former English rugby union footballer who went to Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2001, Athlete Factory offers its clients the coaching and equipment they need to train to the highest standard, supporting beginners and professional competitors to reach their fitness goals.
Expansion plans for Chester were already underway, but after the site was forced to close due to lockdown restrictions, the team sought a loan to fulfil this ambition and to expand into a second Athlete Factory location in Manchester. Backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the NPIF loan has also enabled Athlete Factory to expand its facilities in Chester and purchase training equipment including assault bikes, hyper raises and more unique functional training equipment to extend the class options.
Phil Greening, founder and director of Athlete Factory, said: “From initial application to receiving the NPIF loan, the support received from Dave and Chris at GC Business Finance has been exceptional. They showed a genuine interest in our business and took the opportunity to really get involved throughout the process.
“While this year has been difficult for gyms across the country, Athlete Factory offers something truly unique, and I’m sure that there are exciting times ahead. Our focus on making training smarter has created an environment where our clients are given the facilities to fulfil their potential, and I’m looking forward to bringing our business to a new site in Manchester, as well as pursuing partnerships with professional sports clubs in the North.”
Dave Martin, Senior Loans Manager at GC Business Finance, said: “It’s always inspiring to work with someone with such expertise in their field, and what Phil brings to Athlete Factory, with his background in elite sport, is unparalleled. I’m so pleased that GC Business Finance were able to support Athlete Factory with this NPIF loan backed by CBILS. especially in an industry that has been so hard hit by the virus, and I can’t wait to see what its next site looks like, and how it continues to expand beyond that.”
GC Business Finance is an alternative provider for businesses unable to obtain finance through their regular bank. It offers loans ranging from £500 to £500,000 and is committed to supporting North West-based SMEs, providing NPIF loans backed by CBILS to those that have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
Sue Barnard at the British Business Bank, said: “Regardless of new national lockdown restrictions, NPIF will continue to support Northern businesses with vital investment. NPIF loans backed by CBILS, such as this, shows how great an impact funding can make for Northern businesses that have faced significant disruption due to coronavirus. I look forward to seeing the difference NPIF will continue to make in 2021, helping businesses take the next step.”
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.
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