£2m deal enables Wirral Chamber to acquire its Birkenhead HQ

Paula Basnett and Gordon Andrews. Andrew AB Photography

Wirral Chamber has purchased its Egerton House headquarters in Birkenhead following a £2m funding deal brokered by West Kirby-based Bathgate Business Finance.

The chamber acquired the property from Wirral Borough Council, which it said will secure a sustainable foundation for the chamber and create a legacy for future generations of Wirral businesses.

Accessing traditional financing options was increasingly challenging for the chamber, so it turned to strategic partner, Bathgate, to find a viable funding solution.

The process involved extensive due diligence, financial analysis, and meticulous planning to address the economic uncertainties and mitigate risks associated with rising interest rates. Bathgate worked Chirag Mistry, Relationship Director for Reliance Bank, a lender with a history of loaning to community-based projects, to secure the deal.

Paula Bassnet, Chair of the Board of Wirral Chamber of Commerce, said: “When the opportunity to acquire Egerton House presented itself, we knew in our hearts that this was more than just a transaction. It was an investment in the future of Wirral Chamber and the entire community it serves.

“By taking ownership of the property, we were not only securing a stable foundation for Wirral Chamber in the short term, but also laying the groundwork for its enduring legacy for generations to come.

“Our vision extends far beyond mere stability – it’s about creating a lasting impact that transcends time. Egerton House is not just a building, it is a symbol of resilience, progress, and the unwavering spirit of entrepreneurship that defines Wirral Chamber.”

She added: “By safeguarding their futures, we are ensuring that the chamber remains a vital lifeline for businesses, a catalyst for growth, and a pillar of support for our community for years to come.”

Since the deal, Egerton House has been transformed into a modern open-plan office space and is currently the dynamic and collaborative home to 45 local businesses.

Bathgate managing director, Gordon Andrews, said: “As a Wirral-based business ourselves, we recognise the vital role of the chamber in the economic growth of the region and how it helps local businesses to thrive.

“This deal posed some unique challenges, including finding a funder who would agree the loan based on the chamber’s ambitious vision and projections around tenancies, potential for social impact and return on investment.

“Through our extensive network and relationships with a wide range of alternative funders, and working closely with the chamber’s finance director, Neil Coles, we brokered an excellent deal with Reliance Bank that allowed the chamber to make this vital investment.”

He added: “The acquisition of the property has physically placed Wirral Chamber and the businesses it supports on the edge of one of the UK’s largest redevelopment areas, Wirral Waters, with access to tailored support services, networking opportunities, or access to resources and expertise.”

Now, with the facility up and running, the chamber’s five-year strategy includes the modernisation of the whole internal part of Egerton House, taking advantage of its views of the Liverpool skyline and starting projects into renewable energy with the aim of making the building net-zero, to help align with wider economic goals and assist businesses when tendering in the future.

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