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Gastropub group secures £2 million coronavirus relief package ahead of reopening

By James Pugh | Newport | Dining out | Published:

An operator of gastropubs in Staffordshire and Shropshire has secured £2 million of funding to meet immediate cashflow needs and ready the sites for reopening this weekend.

The Red House, Lilleshall

Parogon Pub Group has received the funding from Santander UK as part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Parogon Pub Group is a privately-owned, independent company started in 2007 and led by five local directors.

The group comprises of The Seven Stars, near Stafford; The Red House, at Lilleshall; The Wayfarer, in Stone; The Swan With Two Necks at Blackbrook in Staffordshire; The Orange Tree, in Stoke; Blockhouse at The Sheet Anchor, in Whitmore; and The Boars Head, at Walgherton.

The hospitality sector was one of the first to see enforced closures back in March due to the outbreak of coronavirus, which saw an immediate halt on cash inflow.

A total of £2 million CBILS was provided to support the business as it furloughed all its staff but needed to continue to pay suppliers and meet contractual obligations. This support provided includes a CBILS loan, capital repayment holiday on an existing loan and a small overdraft.

Supportive

Richard Colclough, managing director at the Parogon Pub Group, said: “As a Santander customer for around ten years, the bank has helped facilitate our growth from a single site to seven trading entities, owning the freehold of the majority of our venues.

"We still require the personal interaction with trusted and supportive bankers but also the ability to finance ambitious refurbishment works and expansion plans. Access to capital is critical for our projects and with this we have been able to acquire and subsequently transform well known but struggling restaurants into vibrant and hugely successful venues.

“More recently the Covid-19 crisis that has brought the country to an economic standstill and along with that an immediate liquidity issue for Parogon which was the biggest challenge our company has ever faced. With the help of our Santander relationship team we have managed to meet our payments on time and also set the business on the right footing to tackle the next challenging period of trade.”

Nick Ashman, relationship director at Santander UK, said: “Our pubs are a key part of British culture – found in amongst the hustle and bustle of the high street as well as the remotest parts of the countryside. Parogon Pub Group has grown considerably in the last decade, and we are delighted to support the business during this difficult time.”

James Pugh

By James Pugh

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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