Gala Tent has pegs in right holes for expansion

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GALA Tent, the UK’s largest importer and distributer of tents, marquees and pop-up awnings, has agreed £2.3m of finance as part of the company’s international expansion.

The Rotherham-based business, which employs 30 staff and boasts a £5.5m turnover, has developed export sales in European countries including Holland, Norway, Spain, Ireland and Germany.

Founded in 1999, Gala Tent has grown to sell more than 10,000 tents and marquees each year, along with around 90,000 event accessories and furniture products in the UK.

Gala Tent is also the preferred supplier for organisations including NHS, the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, South Yorkshire Police Service and St John’s Ambulance.

The financial partnership with HSBC’s Commercial Banking team in South Yorkshire will see facilities worth £2.3m provided.

The deal, led by Lee Bloodworth, HSBC’s senior international commercial manager in South Yorkshire, will allow Gala Tent to increase its overseas production of components which are exclusively designed by Gala and built in the UK.

This in turn will help the company to accrue stock throughout the winter in preparation for the business’s busy summer period.

Jason Mace, managing director of Gala Tent, said: “We are at an exciting phase of growth and the business required an international bank that can facilitate the flexibility we require to make the most of our importing activity, allow us to further penetrate the European market and continue to develop our presence in the UK.

“The team at HSBC have worked with us to ensure the right financial products will facilitate our strategic growth goals for the future of the business.”

Martin Nattrass, HSBC’s area commercial director for South Yorkshire, said: “Gala Tent is a great example of a business which has responded to the growth in the online market by focussing its growth strategy on web-based sales. The company is also expanding its international footprint, focusing on targeting new customers in Europe.

“We look forward to working closely with the management team over the coming years to ensure the business can optimise these international opportunities.”

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