Energy and waste management firm lands £250,000 lifeline

A Long Bennington-based energy and waste management consultancy has landed a £250,000 cash boost that will been able to bolster its cashflow and support staff salaries amid coronavirus disruption, thanks to support from Lloyds Bank.

Blue Castle Group, comprised of Blue Castle Business Services and Blue Castle (Energy), delivers bespoke solutions that help its clients reduce their energy and waste management costs, and increase their waste recycling.

It serves customers across a range of sectors, with approximately 30% of its business stemming from the hospitality and leisure industry.

The coronavirus lockdown meant that a number of Blue Castle’s customers suspended their contracts with the Group, resulting in the loss of almost a third of the business’ revenue and putting pressure on its cashflow.

However, it has now secured a £250,000 loan through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) from banking partner Lloyds Bank.

This, combined with an existing invoice finance facility, will help Blue Castle meet trading costs, maintain staff salaries and extend the payment terms of its own customers affected by the crisis, helping it to continue operating throughout the outbreak.

Marie Harley, chief executive officer at Blue Castle Group, said: “While some of our clients have seen a rise in activity due to Covid-19, others, such as hotels and caravan parks, have had to shut their doors and understandably reduce their own outgoings by suspending contracts.

“This has naturally impacted our cashflow.

“However, our invoice finance facility meant we were immediately able to access cash from previously issued invoices, and this new CBILS loan will only strengthen our position.

“We’ve had to take the decision to furlough 70% of our 30-strong team. As well as helping us continue to pay our suppliers, this support means we can carry on topping up their salaries to 100%, as well as continuing to pay our team members that are still working.

“It has also given us the headroom to offer some of our customers more time to pay their invoices. We’re all in this together, and it’s incredibly important to us that we help them too.”

Ben Cutts, Relationship Manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Blue Castle Group is an incredibly innovative business with big plans for the future.

“Coronavirus has put an immediate squeeze on its operations, but we’re incredibly proud to be able to offer it our support to help it continue operating through these difficult times.

“We know firms up and down the country are experiencing similar pressures, and we’ll be by their side to help. This includes lending through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, as well as capital repayment holidays on loans for businesses that have been affected.”