April 7, 2020 @ 10:33 by Richard Dawson
Bakery chain Cooplands has increased production of fresh bread and started providing local deliveries to communities across the North East and Yorkshire.
The 135-year old business operates a network of 172 bakery shops and cafés across the North of England, with more than two thirds of those that support residential communities remaining open during the Government lockdown.
As well as delivering its own products, Cooplands is also distributing food packages with essential items not typically stocked by the company to ensure local residents can get what they need.
Customers within 10 to 15 miles of Cooplands’ three main production sites in Durham, Hull and Scarborough will benefit from this scheme.
The business has been able to pivot its operations to better serve community need with the full support of Lloyds Bank after it secured a flexible funding facility from the lender.
Belinda Youngs, chief executive of Cooplands, said: “We have a long history as a community-focused business, bringing local produce and baked goods to families across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North East.
“Our ambition is to quite literally put bread and other staples on the table during these challenging times and it’s only possible for us to react to changing market conditions as quickly as we have with confidence in the support of our bank.
“The team at Lloyds Bank has been exceptionally fleet-footed in putting the conditions in place for our cashflow to remain in good health.
“In addition, while we have regrettably had to furlough some employees associated with our cafes, mobile food vans and city centre shops that don’t serve residential communities, the new funding will ultimately preserve those jobs in the long-term.”
Hannah Douglass, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, added: “We remain committed to being by the side of businesses, especially during this challenging and unprecedented period.
“As such, we’re working closely with government to provide the short and long-term funding needed by businesses both large and small.
“This includes setting aside £2 billion of arrangement fee-free finance to help firms affected by COVID-19.”