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Cheshire agricultural supplier plants seeds of growth with new premises

20 January 2016

A Macclesfield wholesaler of agricultural equipment is planning to significantly increase its turnover after moving to redeveloped premises with funding support worth £800k from Yorkshire Bank.

Barlow’s of Henbury Ltd has moved to the eight-and-a-half acre site in Macclesfield from its previous premises in Henbury where it was based for 60 years. The move will bring the business to a much more accessible area beside a main road, where it will operate in addition to its second unit in Leek, Staffordshire.

The deal was delivered under Yorkshire Bank’s SME lending initiatives which were developed to support customer growth. These include funding to allow businesses to buy their trading premises which, depending on the strength of cashflows and individual circumstances, can be up to 100% of the premises value.

With the improved transport links generating increased footfall, Barlow’s is aiming to double its turnover from approximately £4m to £8m by 2020. Additionally, the family business plans to hire three new staff over the next 12 months to work at the Macclesfield site.

Barlow’s supplies agricultural equipment including tractors and heavy duty machinery to farming businesses. With the opening of the new site, the business plans to extend its offering to include country and hunting supplies.

The fifth generation family business was founded by Joseph Aaron Barlow in 1890, the great-great grandfather of current owner James Barlow. It now has 14 employees and has become a major supplier of McCormick and Zetor tractors.

James said: “Our secret of success is down to really hard work. We’re a small business that operates effectively together as a team and we’re all committed to growing the company. I believe this attitude combined with the increased traffic we will experience at our new site will enable us to reach our goal of doubling our turnover by 2020.”

Yorkshire Bank provided funding for the purchase and redevelopment of the site in a deal arranged by relationship manager, Stephen Cox. Barlow’s has been a Yorkshire Bank customer for nearly ten years.

James said: “Yorkshire Bank has firmly supported our business over the last decade, helping us get to where we are today. The agricultural industry is completely different from anything else and receiving a personalised service from the team that comes with strong sector knowledge has been highly beneficial.”

Sean Williams, Head of Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Manchester, said: “Barlow’s has been around for more than a century and has become a highly respected supplier in agribusiness with strong client relationships and a wealth of industry expertise.

“We saw the significant potential increase in business activity this move could bring for Barlow’s, so we provided extended support for the cost of the property. We are proud to have supported the move which will allow the company to progress even further.

“As economic conditions continue to improve, Yorkshire Bank remains focused on supporting the growth ambitions of businesses in the North West.”

Yorkshire Bank has strengthened its support for UK SMEs by becoming the first to partner with the British Business Bank under its ENABLE Guarantees scheme. Up to £125m of new lending by Yorkshire Bank, guaranteed by the British Business Bank, will help more small businesses achieve their growth ambitions.

Additionally, the Bank runs a series of lending initiatives for UK businesses, designed to encourage growth for new and existing customers. As well as capital-free periods for up to five years, the Bank has also introduced high percentage funding for businesses to purchase trading premises.

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