Go Ape, the UK outdoor adventure company and visitor attraction, has secured funding from the coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) through Clydesdale Bank, owned by Virgin Money, to help it through the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.
Go Ape, which is owned and operated by Adventure Forest Limited, has 34 sites across the UK. The company was forced to close all 34 sites on 20 March in line with the Government’s COVID-19 restrictions. The move immediately wiped out 100% of Go Ape’s income, with no prospect of future income until the lockdown is lifted and ticketed outdoor leisure activity providers can be reopened.
Go Ape’s management team has taken all necessary steps to maintain the business through the crisis and worked closely with the Clydesdale Bank team to restructure its existing banking facilities and apply for the CBILS loan to support working capital.
CBILS is a UK Government initiative facilitated by participating banks to provide financial support to SMEs that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the scheme, existing Clydesdale Bank business customers can borrow £10,000 to £5 million.
Nick Hall, Finance Director at Go Ape, said, “As an outdoor seasonal business, the closure of our sites coincided with the lowest cash point in the year coming out of winter, a period when revenues are low and we invest heavily in our sites in advance of the new season.
“The lockdown at the beginning of our most profitable months from Easter through to the end of summer created a significant financial challenge. The CBILS loan from Clydesdale Bank is vital to ensure we have a sustainable business to reopen, providing working capital to support a return to operation.
“Clydesdale Bank has been very supportive of our business over the last seven years, providing capital for growth and assistance in more challenging times and this crisis has been no different. They have been responsive, constructive and fair.”
Dominic Reason, director, Cashflow Finance at Clydesdale Bank said, “There is significant uncertainty for the entire business sector due to the coronavirus lockdown, although some sectors are likely to suffer more than others.
“Tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses are experiencing huge revenue losses at a time when they’d be welcoming peak trade. We understand the difficulties that SMEs are facing right now, and we can tailor our support to meet their unique challenges. We urge all our customers to get in touch if they are worried about the impact of coronavirus on their business.”