A Thames riverboat company has set course for future growth thanks to the financial support of Clydesdale Bank.
Thames Executive Charters operates a fleet of seven luxury boats from piers in Maidenhead and central London, but is looking to add a further vessel each year to help it meet growing demand for its cruises.
The company charters its vessels out for private functions and landmark celebrations as well as seminars and conferences. Catering, marketing and maintenance are all run in-house from the company’s head office in Forest Row, East Sussex.
“Essentially, we offer a floating venue with a stunning view,” said Managing Director Adrian Allworth. “As a conference and seminar venue, we can offer everything a big hotel can and more – not least we can bring it to your doorstep.
“2012 will be a big year for us thanks to the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics and we have just brought a new vessel onto the fleet to help. Our marketing team is doing very good work and we have more demand than capacity, so we are constantly looking to expand the fleet further, ideally at the rate of one new vessel a year.”
However, those plans threatened to hit the rocks when the company approached its previous bank and presented its expansion plans.
“The asset value of our fleet is in the region of £1.5 million, but we just could not get our former bank to accept those assets as collateral,” said Adrian. “They understood bricks and mortar, but simply refused to accept our most valuable assets as security.”
That left the company with no option but to seek another bank and a third party referral saw them meet with Johnny Rowe, Business Development Partner at Clydesdale Bank’s London West End Financial Solutions Centre (FSC).
“Johnny and his colleagues at Clydesdale Bank accepted our business as something they wanted to be involved with, ” said Adrian.
“We have our expansion plans which we are working hard to make happen. Johnny presented to us a Relationship Plan which included a summary of our business, our goals and financial targets, showing Clydesdale understood what we are trying to achieve and showed a real willingness to help us get there”
“Thames Executive Charters is just the kind of company our Investing for Growth initiative is designed to help,” said Paul Mercer, Managing Partner at Clydesdale Bank’s London West End FSC.
“Investing for Growth offers benefits such as loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms and is designed to help businesses take advantage of quality growth opportunities by providing investment finance, increasing cash flow and easing debt commitments,”
The initiative has helped Clydesdale Bank to meet its target of £10 billion of new lending for business and personal customers in two years to October 2011, of which £1 billion was earmarked for the South East.
"At Clydesdale Bank we have the ability to engage our Asset Finance specialists and Credit Underwriters at a very early stage and get their buy-in with what the borrower is trying to achieve. We were able to then provide a funding solution that met the future growth strategy of the business," Paul added.
“We would be delighted to talk to any business with plans to grow and which is looking for financial support for those plans.”
To find out more about Thames Executive Charters, visit www.thamesexecutivecharters.com.
Businesses interested in finding out more about Clydesdale Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative should contact: Johnny Rowe on either Johnny.firstname.lastname@example.org or 07799 865 449.