Bents on growth trail after Barclays backing

The ?8m loan will help Bents build a two storey extension, providing new office and warehousing and an additional 58,000 sq ft in retail space.

Garden centre chain Bents Garden & Home is on the growth trail after securing ?8m funding boost.

The Warrington firm, started in the 1930s by Alfred and Margaret Bent cultivating roses in the front garden of their terraced house, has won the backing from Barclays.

The term loan will help Bents build a two storey extension, providing new office and warehousing and an additional 58,000 sq ft in retail space.

Bents currently has 300 staff and sales of ?14m, which it is hoping to grow by eight per cent in the current financial year.

Since 2001, the firm has been run by the third generation of the Bents family – Matthew, Rachel, Helen and Katherine. As managing director, Matthew has created the Open Skies Glass House garden centre and it has a 10-year plan to transform the site into a major retail and leisure destination.

Matthew, managing director, said: ?Barclays has demonstrated an understanding of our business, the sector in which we operate, and the opportunities available to us. The bank?s support is an endorsement of our strategy and illustrates both the strength of our balance sheet and the quality of our asset base. The team at Barclays shares our massive enthusiasm and is keen to support our future growth plans.?

The new facility was arranged by the north west corporate banking team at Barclays, led by Giles Barton. He said: ?Bents is a third generation family business steeped in history and this deal represents considerable funding support to a long-standing and valued client.

?The business has been well-run by successive generations, and under Matthew?s stewardship is now ideally positioned to continue on its growth track over the coming years.

?We have built a strong relationship with the management team so that we understand the key drivers for the business which, in turn, has enabled us to deliver a funding solution that fully satisfies their on-going requirements.?

Bents

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