North East Connected

Bounce back loans help North East firms manage COVID pressures

Two North East businesses have been able to protect their cash flow amid the coronavirus outbreak after their managing director secured a pair of emergency Bounce Back Loans from Lloyds Bank.

Peter Atkinson is the managing director of Stockton based industrial control, automation and power distribution equipment supplier Teesside Industrial Controls. He also runs property development business Skerne Valley Developments with his wife, Paula.

In recent weeks, Teesside Industrial Controls has experienced a 40 per cent reduction in orders, impacting its cash flow.

Meanwhile, the lockdown has meant that Skerne Valley Developments has been hit with delays in the sale of two of its properties in Trimdon, County Durham, which together would have generated £450,000 in revenue.

However, both businesses have now secured funding – delivered within 24 hours – from Lloyds Bank through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) that will help them manage their cash flow pressures.

A £50,000 BBLS loan will enable Teesside Industrial Controls to continue meeting day-to-day trading costs and support staff salaries. While a £47,500 BBLS loan will mean that Skerne Valley Developments can continue safe construction work on a property so that its sale can be completed.

Peter Atkinson, managing director of both businesses, said: “For Skerne Valley Developments, the lockdown has meant we’ve faced understandable delays in sourcing materials and services for a conversion project that already has a buyer lined up.

“Another of our properties has its sale agreed, but the buyer can’t complete the deal until they complete the sale on their previous house – itself delayed because of the virus.

“At Teesside Industrial Controls our cash flow has been squeezed with less revenue coming in. We’ve had to take the difficult decision to furlough seven of our 22-strong team, and all three of our directors have stopped taking salaries.

“This funding from Lloyds Bank has taken a lot of the pressure off both firms. It’s given us the confidence to continue working on Skerne Valley’s conversion project and helps protect the viability of our Teesside Industrial Controls business.

“Ultimately, both companies are now in a stronger position to make the most of whatever lies ahead.”

Michelle Story, relationship director, Lloyds Bank said: “Teesside Industrial Controls and Skerne Valley Developments are very different businesses in very different sectors, but both have faced coronavirus disruption – a clear example of the widespread impact the outbreak is having on firms up and down the country.

“These are tricky and uncertain times, but we’ll be by the side of businesses across the North East, and beyond, to help them tackle the challenges head on. This includes lending through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme.”

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