Narrowboat builder expands with £881,000 boost

Oakums Narrowboats

An Ashbourne-based narrowboat builder is expanding into new premises.

HSBC has granted Oakums Narrowboats a £881,000 funding package to purchase a new 14,000 sq ft property in Carsington Water. 

Having additional space will help increase the business’s capacity by 350% expanding its manufacturing capability and allowing the business to build seven boats at once, compared to two currently. 

Liam Hainsworth, director at Oakums Narrowboats, said: “This funding marks a significant milestone and empowers us to embark on a new era of expansion and innovation within our industry. This is a strategic leap forward and paints a positive outlook for our operations. Oakums has flourished from a personal hobby to a dynamic workforce of 14 skilled builders, and the banking team’s support has been instrumental in achieving this transformative growth.”

The funding has also streamlined operations by facilitating the import of key boat parts from overseas. With half of the business’s customers based overseas, the funding will also facilitate further international growth for the business.

 Oakums has already reached £1.4m in revenue in the past three months and is now anticipating annual revenue to increase to £6m as a direct result of the expansion.

Mark Greasley, relationship manager at HSBC UK, said: “We’re dedicated to ensuring small businesses and enterprises can thrive both domestically and globally. Oakums has created a business model that we’re excited to get behind, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be able to support the company as it continues to grow.”