North Yorkshire based award winning theme park Flamingo Land announced it has received support from Barclays through the Government backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) in order to maintain the ability to trade through the COVID-19 crisis.
Currently closed due to Covid-19, Flamingo Land was established in 1978 by the father of Gordon Gibb, former Chairman of Bradford City Football Club, and is one of the UK’s most visited zoos, theme park and holiday resorts. Based at Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire, the business saw income fall overnight with the Covid-19 closure affecting what would normally be the busiest trading period of the year between April and October.
Gordon Gibb, CEO of Flamingo Land said: “Prior to Covid-19 we were growing year on year and reinvesting our profits back in to the business to expand our core services, support our workforce and deliver on our environmental commitments. With more than one and a half million visitors coming through out gates each year, the Covid-19 lockdown saw immediate and widespread business interruption across all of our core business units. The support we have received from Barclays to access a CBIL loan in a matter of weeks has been a lifeline to ensure we have sufficient working capital throughout this uncertain period. Although we are temporarily closed to visitors, many of our dedicated team of keepers have remained on site to care for our 1200 animals.”
The business successfully negotiated a CBIL facility, which will assist their continued operations. The company employs over 700 staff at the height of the season and is a major employer locally.
Oliver Whitehurst, Barclays Relationship Director put together the funding packages and said; “Covid-19 caused immediate business interruption to Flamingo Land’s operations and saw revenues fall overnight. I’m delighted that Barclays was able to step in to support Gordon, Denise and the team to access a CBILs loan within a two-week period. This loan has helped to bolster Flamingo Land’s cash flow throughout the Covid-19 period and support their day-to-day expenditure. Having worked closely with Gordon and his team over the past few years, I see first-hand the economic contribution Flamingo Land makes to the Yorkshire region. Ensuring we continue to back UK businesses like Flamingo Land through Covid-19 and beyond will be vital to kick-start the local economic growth and to support the UK’s recovery post Covid-19 and beyond.”
Kevin Hollinrake, constituency MP for Flamingo Land and Co-Chair of the APPG for Fair Banking said: “Flamingo Land is one North Yorkshire’s top tourist attractions so it was bound to be hard-hit by the lockdown, which has had a huge impact on the visitor economy. I am very pleased that they have sought and secured government-backed financial support and am grateful to Barclays for providing the loan finance. The best way we can help businesses across North Yorkshire and ease the burden on the taxpayer is by safely reopening the economy and I am pleased that North Yorkshire is starting to re-open for business and welcoming visitors to our area.”