Narrowboat manufacturer sets sail with new management team

Susan Mason, Peter Mason, James Attwood, David Wright, Stephen Lee, Donna Hitchen

North West-based narrowboat manufacturer Braidbar Boats has undergone a management buyout with the help of a six-figure funding deal.

Braidbar Boats, which has been owned by Peter and Susan Mason since 2007, is based on the Macclesfield Canal close to Poynton and has been building narrowboats for more than 30 years.

After 10 years running the business, last year Peter and Susan brought boat designer James Attwood and his partner Donna, into the business, to help manage the day-to-day operations of the company.

The funding package has seen Susan’s stake in the business acquired by Attwood, who is now responsible for the overall operation of the firm, with Donna taking on the day-to-day running of the office.

With the new management team as well as the funding in place, the business says it can increase its annual production, which presently has the capacity to build up to seven boats every year, and satisfy currently unmet demand for its product.

Peter Mason said: “I am very pleased that James has joined the business. He brings with him many years of expertise and new thinking to the design of our boats.”

Attwood said: “I am excited about the future for Braidbar Boats having had this opportunity, as we are building on an already well-established and well-respected boat building business. The wealth of knowledge and experience has become even stronger with this partnership, and this will take the company even further.

“We are looking forward to developing fresh ideas as well as adapting to new technologies and with the team in place, this is very achievable.”

The Masons were advised in the transaction by Andrew Feeke, corporate finance senior director, David Wright, director of banking and finance and Amanda Sayle, tax director, at North West accountancy and advisory firm CLB Coopers, which is part of Baldwins Group.

Funding for the transaction was arranged by Stephen Lee, relationship director at the Royal Bank of Scotland.


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