Loan offers ray of sunlight to green-focused Manchester business

Solar roof panels at David Luke Schoolwear
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A Manchester-based school uniform provider has installed more than 1,000 solar panels, with support from HSBC UK, to reduce carbon emissions and cut costs.

David Luke Schoolwear has utilised a six-figure funding package from the bank to install 1,700 sq mtrs of ERS solar panels at its headquarters in central Manchester.

As a result of the installation, the business will have the capacity to generate a peak solar array of 295kw-h onsite, enabling a 25-tonne reduction in carbon emissions every year.

Over a 25-year solar lifespan, David Luke Schoolwear is expecting to save up to 3,600 tonnes in carbon emissions.

The funding provided by HSBC UK comes as part of a Green Loan, dedicated funding to support sustainability projects and help SMEs and mid-market companies achieve their green ambitions.

Kathryn Shuttleworth, David Luke Group managing director, said: “We’re delighted to see the completion of this project, the latest in a growing list of successful green initiatives across the business.

“These solar panels support our long term sustainability targets, but the investment will also see financial returns, with the solar roof expected to pay for itself in cost savings after only seven to eight years.”

In April 2020, David Luke Schoolwear received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainability for manufacturing school uniforms out of recycled polyester yarn from plastic bottles.

Richard Beaumont, relationship director for HSBC UK, corporate banking, Greater Manchester, said: “This is the first Green Loan we have provided for a mid-sized enterprise in the North of England and we’re incredibly proud to be completing the deal with David Luke Schoolwear.

Kathryn Shuttleworth

“The family-run business has proven its green credentials at the highest level and this investment in solar panels signals another positive move for the future.”

Robert King, head of sustainability at HSBC UK, said: “The work being done on HSBC UK Green Loans across the country is innovative and an important part of our commitment to help business thrive in the transition to net zero.

“By supporting SMEs, mid-sized enterprises and large corporate organisations with dedicated sustainable funding, we can ensure the long term economic and environmental health of UK businesses.”

David Luke Schoolwear is one of the biggest school uniform brands in the UK with a history dating back almost 40 years.

In 2021, the firm will be diversifying into new markets with the establishment of The Parently Group.

This group will see the incorporation of activewear brands Grass & Air and Juco Activewear alongside David Luke Schoolwear, as well the introduction of new e-commerce platforms.