Case Study: R H Binks & Sons Ltd

About R H Binks & Sons Ltd

R H Binks & Sons are a quality Wholesale & Retail Family Butchers who have been serving customers in Wakefield since 1920. Whilst they are a traditional style butcher founded on their service and a strong passion for high quality British produce, they are moving with the times to create hand-made products, and innovative ideas to the butchery trade.

Sourcing the majority of meat from established Yorkshire farms, they support regional farmers who share their commitment to welfare and outstanding quality without the use of intensive farming or growth hormones and additives.

Their Need for Finance

R H Binks & Sons Ltd has been successfully running for generations and wanted a new lease of life to align with the creativity and innovation they are bringing to the trade. The shop needed a full re-fit, and they were looking for a way to give the butchers a face-lift without using their existing cash reserves.

“Without the support from Bluestone and our supplier H K Interiors and XL Refrigeration, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have. The interior of our shop is now one we feel proud of and we feel it is another step in supporting our business continuing to grow.”

Jack Binks, R H Binks & Sons Ltd

The Solution

With the support of Bluestone and suppliers, H K Interiors and XL Refrigeration, R H Binks were able to utilise a £120,000 Hire Purchase agreement to finance the fit-out of a new, modern shop internally and externally. The agreement allowed them to benefit from retained capital within the business for further growth and investment whilst making affordable repayments at a fixed cost over time.

Laura Fallah, Regional Account Manager at Bluestone said, “It was great to be able to work on a project local to Bluestone, especially one that supports regional farmers at the same time. The shop looks great and I’m really glad we were able to help R H Binks with their re-fit and support their business.”

Interested in finding out how Bluestone can support your business?

We can help businesses by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in speaking to someone who can talk through how to best support your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your individual circumstances and work with you to decide which finance solution would be the right choice for you.

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Case Study: The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance

The Institute of Comtemporary Music Performance (ICMP), based in London, has been developing and delivering education to students of contemporary music for over 30 years, longer than any other UK school. The key to their philosophy, is the understanding that every student is unique.

The ICMP have always focused on the needs and potential of individual students, ensuring that the education they provide is tailored and personalised, giving them the best chance of success.

The ICMP’s Requirements

As a provider of Higher Education emerging from the Pandemic and working within the tight constraint of the regulatory framework, ICMP used finance to ensure that key financial performance metrics were always comfortably managed at appropriate levels.

“Bluestone have been a supportive and communicative company, taking the time to understand our needs. That approach has enabled us to achieve the amazing results that we have!”

Pete Whittard,  Business Development Director, ICMP

The Solution

In 2019, when the project was initiated, ICMP’s growth trajectory clearly indicated the need for additional specialist space to accommodate recording studios and performance.

The solution was a 14,000 square-foot derelict public house in Queens Park that has undertaken a three phase renovation. Phase one delivered three state-of-the-art recording and post-production studios (featuring Dolby Atmos technology). Phase two delivered a 100+ capacity fully specified performance venue refectory with expanded teaching spaces and technology labs. Phase three completed with six further teaching spaces and professional services offices under a new roof and a rebuilt second floor.

Louse Harris from Bluestone said, “It was an absolute pleasure working with Pete and the team at the ICMP. We were delighted to support them with financing their projects, allowing them to continue with their exciting growth plans. We look forward to supporting them in years to come.”

Interested in finding out how Bluestone can support your business?

We can help businesses by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in speaking to someone who can talk through how to best support your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your individual circumstances and work with you to decide which finance solution would be the right choice for you. 

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Case Study: A New Headquarters for West Barn Co.

Kim, a make-up artist to celebrity clients with over 10 years of experience, founded West Barn Co. with her mother, Donna, in 2017.  At the time, there was a trend for either tattooed eyebrows or pencil drawn eyebrows and Kim wanted a different look and feel to what was the norm. As such, ‘Soap Brows’ was born.

Using cosmetically formulated soap which is safe to leave on the face, Soap Brows creates fluffy, prominent eyebrows. The product took social media by storm and demand sky rocketed. Today, the company focuses on creating high quality brow and skin prep products including cleansers, serums, prep mists and toners along with makeup tool kits.

West Barn Co.’s Continued Growth

The company signed a building lease for WBCo. headquarters in December 2018, but the business has continued to grow at an incredible pace. West Barn Co. now employ over 25 staff members in their Durham HQ and ships to more than 60 countries. This growth led to a need for a bigger and better headquarters in 2021.

Louise and the team at Bluestone Leasing were really great. They were thorough, efficient and super lovely to work with. The options they presented us with meant we were able to further invest into New Product Development much sooner. When speed to market is imperative, this was a great step in our business. Thanks again Louise.”

Kimberley Cattin, CEO, West Barn Co.

The Solution

After being introduced to commercial finance specialists for the interiors sector, Bluestone Leasing, by their team of fitout specialists, West Barn Co. decided to finance their fitout over 5 years to run in tandem with their 10-year building lease which has a 5-year break clause.

Louise Harris, Key Account Manager at Bluestone said, “It was an absolute pleasure working with Kim and the team at West Barn Co. We were delighted to support them with their large-scale fit-out project, allowing them to continue with their exciting growth plans and we look forward to supporting WBC in years to come.”

Interested in finance for your business?

We can help businesses to by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in a loan or asset finance for your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your business’ individual circumstances and work with you to decide which, if any, finance solution would be the right choice. 

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

UK Coaching: Creating a “Sense of Place”

“We have downsized from 12,000 to 5,000 square feet, but as all the space has been used to the maximum, it works perfectly and almost feels like we have more space.”

With office-based working hanging by a thread for many businesses, why would an organisation invest time and money into brand new offices?

For UK Coaching, the answer was simple: to support and inspire their clients and staff.

UK Coaching’s problem

Our environment has a big impact on the way we feel and behave. When we feel at ease, safe, and energised, we are better thinkers, better communicators, and more connected to the world and the people around us.

UK Coaching is the UK’s leading charitable organisation for sports and physical activity coaches and has been running for over 30 years and employs more than 80 people. They represent, support and inspire coaches to bring great coaching to the lives of millions, building healthier and happier communities in the process.

Although based in Leeds, the organisation works with coaches all over the UK who are improving a person’s experience of sport and physical activity by providing specialised support and guidance aligned to their individual needs and aspirations.

So, when we consider that the team at UK Coaching are responsible for inspiring and nurturing people so that they can inspire others in their communities, surely their working environment should support them in their mission?

Unfortunately, their workplace was anything but inspiring.

“In our old offices, which were old fashioned and gloomy, we were three separate companies operating in three separate areas. This made collaboration difficult. We wanted to be one team so that we could bring all our services for the coach together.”

Neil Ashton, COO UK Coaching

UK Coaching was also facing the challenge of bringing their team back to the office after months of remote working throughout the pandemic, as well as providing a more agile and digital workplace that suited the business today.

“We wanted to create a unique working environment that aided collaboration within the business, and allowed enhanced agile work practices, while also future proofing the space. The project would also allow a change in the culture by creating a smarter and more digital workplace that was a great place to work and a more inclusive environment.

“It was important for us to create a ‘sense of place’ and improve the wellbeing of our team, and a workplace that assists in the attraction and retention of talent and makes us stand out from the competition. We needed to provide flexibility for staff to work individually, collaboratively, and innovatively, but also provide privacy when needed.”

Neil Ashton, COO UK Coaching

Enter RA Real Estate

UK Coaching’s project had three key elements:

  1. To find new premises that would facilitate this adventurous project
  2. A solid brief for the desired fit out
  3. To exit the existing property.

To kick things off, UK Coaching appointed Richard Ashmore of RA Real Estate, a commercial property expert in Leeds and the surrounding areas, who helped them to find new premises and develop a full technical brief and tender document for the fitout.

Next on the to-do list in September 2020 was the tender process, i.e., inviting design and build contractors to submit proposals for the project, and that is when they met the team at Absolute Interiors.

Absolute Interiors

Absolute Interiors, a design and build contractor, can fit out any commercial space but many of their projects involve offices, restaurants, and bars. In the current climate, they are working with businesses throughout the UK helping them to create a positive return to the office for their staff.

“We are there to bring our client’s vision to life and facilitate where they want to take to their business. We pride ourselves on our design choices being grounded in research and statistics, not just on aesthetics. For UK Coaching, one of the big challenges was moving the business from 12,000 square feet spread over 5 levels – which was not suited to collaborative working – to 5,000 square feet of flexible co-working space. It was also vital that we gave them a space that represented the brand, somewhere they could be proud of inviting clients, partners, and even family and friends.”

“Without doubt Absolute were the best to present. Not only had they matched the brief perfectly, but they ran the presentation more as a consultation engaging us from the start. The team all presented, and they all came across as knowledgeable, realistic, yet adventurous in terms of what we could achieve on a relatively small budget. Their imagination knocked us out the park.”

Neil Ashton, COO UK Coaching

Financing the project with Bluestone Leasing

When it comes to paying for an ambitious project like UK Coaching’s, while paying upfront in cash is an option, more and more businesses are choosing to be more creative in their approach. As one of our partner companies, Absolute discussed the lease financing option with UK Coaching during the initial proposal stage.

“We always mention the option to finance with Bluestone Leasing at the beginning of the process so that the client is fully aware of their options and can make the best decision for their current budget and future plans.”

UK Coaching decided to consolidate the costs and spread the payments over time via a finance lease.

In the midst of a pandemic, the option to finance over a number of years was preferable as it enabled us to release cashflow and therefore provide more support to more coaches during this difficult time.”

Neil Ashton, COO UK Coaching

Absolute Interiors introduced UK Coaching to Patrick Iyoyin at Bluestone Leasing who was able to arrange a finance deal that enabled UK Coaching to get the workspace they needed while still retaining their cash so they could continue to support to coaches in the UK.

“Our aim throughout was to tailor a bespoke finance solution around the specific needs and requirements of UK Coaching. This meant we utilised a banking facility that was flexible to allow for various fitout and furniture assets, but also IT equipment for their digital upgrade.”

Patrick Iyoyin, Regional Account Manager, Bluestone Leasing

“Bluestone Leasing’s service was good and the commercial rates were competitive, and we would use them to finance further assets in the future.”

Neil Ashton, COO UK Coaching

UK Coaching’s new offices and the future

The project was finished in March 2021, and while COVID restrictions delayed the team’s ability to make full use of their new space, the results have certainly been worth the wait. The organisation now has an innovative, unique, and agile working environment that includes:

  • A central break out space
  • Amphitheatre for pitching to an audience/presentations
  • Social areas for breaks and evening entertainment
  • Sound barriers above desks for staff who spend a lot of time on the phone
  • More private ‘snugs’ for project work or collaboration.

“What Absolute have achieved with the budget is amazing, the added value, the trimmings and the extra details are incredible. We really enjoy the space which is near the city centre amenities and transport links. It is conducive to collaborative work in a digitally minded world, but possibly the most significant achievement made possible by the fit out has been giving people a sense of hope and optimism after an isolating period.

“Just like our new offices, UK Coaching’s future is bright and dynamic. To all intents and purposes, we are a new and dynamic organisation, here for the coach. We will represent coaches as a collective, support their learning and development to inspire their participants and communities to be active.”

Mark Gannon, CEO UK Coaching

Case Study – Sightsavers Charity Head Office Relocation

We love what we do here at Bluestone Leasing, everyone is passionate about their partners and customers but it always feels extra special to be able to help a charity.

We have recently been lucky enough to work with Sightsavers, a UK-based international charity which fights avoidable blindness and promotes equal opportunities for visually impaired people.

We worked with them to arrange a suitable lease for their requirements; allowing Sightsavers to move premises and whilst continuing with their amazing work.

casestudy, leasing; finance; furniture and fit out