North East clothing manufacturer secures loan to protect jobs and plan for future

May 14, 2020 @ 13:46 by Richard Dawson

Northern Clothing Company has secured financial support from Lloyds Bank to be able to safeguard jobs and prepare for its post-lockdown future.

The North Shields-based sports clothing manufacturer has been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown owing to the fact that it is heavily reliant on orders direct from the sports industry.

The company makes clothing for sports teams, clubs and schools across the UK under its own brand – Core-37.

The cancellation of events and closure of sport clubs saw orders dry up, leaving the firm facing major cash flow issues and pausing manufacturing operations.

35 members of staff were also place on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Turning to banking partner, Lloyds Bank, company director Paul Varley was able to secure a £135,000 loan through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – arranged fee free and turned around in seven days.

The funding will be used to pay wages, cover business overheads and settle outstanding supplier invoices.

The loan will also bolster the firm’s working capital position, putting it in a position to recommence operations with speed once restrictions are lifted.

Paul Varley, director at Northern Clothing Company, said: “The majority of our customers operate in the sports industry so when the lockdown was announced, the impact on income was almost immediate.

“This new funding has not only allowed us to safeguard jobs, but it’s given us the ability to put a plan in place for when demand returns, and our manufacturing processes can resume.

“Core-37 produces sports kits in just three weeks, offering some of the lowest prices in the market, so we expect a surge in activity once schools and clubs reopen and team sports begin again.

“This money has allowed us to bring back some of our sales team who are starting to have conversations with customers about their needs in a post-lockdown world so we can produce their orders in time for the start of the season.”

Paul Watson, relationship manager at Lloyds Banking Group, added: “Coronavirus is causing a great deal of disruption to many businesses across the North East.

“We’re committed to supporting businesses in all sectors adapt and adjust to these unprecedented circumstances, ensuring they’re in the best possible position to hit the ground running once we emerge on the other side of this pandemic.”

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