1,000th Start Up Loan helps Barnsley plumber start afresh

A plumber who found himself facing redundancy during lockdown has launched his own business after receiving a start-up loan.

Richard Adlington took the plunge and set up his own plumbing business after becoming the 1,000th recipient of the a Start Up Loan from alternative lending provide Finance For Enterprise.

Mr Adlington had built up his career at a commercial catering equipment company over the last 20 years, where he rose through the ranks to oversee a national portfolio of installation and refurbishment projects.

But during the first national lockdown he was made redundant when work from the hospitality industry dried up.

After realising there was a shortage of qualified plumbers in Barnsley, Mr Adlington decided to become self-employed and set up his own business, Radlington PHS.

The business received support from Launchpad, a unique programme designed to to equip business owners in the Sheffield City Region with the vital skills they need to run their own business.

Through Launchpad, Mr Adlington was introduced to Finance For Enterprise, which helped him develop a business plan that helped him secure a £7,000 loan.

Mr Adlington said: “I knew launching a business would be a big step, especially considering the impact of Covid-19, so I decided to speak to the Launchpad team for advice. I knew I had the technical skills and experience to work as a plumber, but I also knew running my own business meant getting the fundamentals right from day one.

“Launchpad helped me to gain a solid understanding of what was needed, such as understanding my legal and financial responsibilities, finding customers and even knowing how to use social media for business purposes.

“I was apprehensive about approaching Finance For Enterprise for funding, especially as you hear so many stories about viable businesses not being able to secure lending, but my Investment manager made the process really simple and straightforward. Within just a couple a weeks, I received a call telling me my loan had been approved, and I was able to secure the vehicle I needed really quickly. Since then I haven’t looked back and I’ve steadily built up a strong local customer base.”

Ian Howson, business advisor at Finance for Enterprise, said: “It was clear from our first meeting that Richard had spent a great deal of time planning his business.

“The financial projections he used to support his application were well thought out and by producing figures which took into account the impact of Covd-19, it was clear that the loan would not only help him to secure the vital equipment and transport his business needed to trade effectively, but crucially also provided a cash buffer to protect the business during the pandemic.

“Start Up Loans were developed specifically with new business owners in mind and for Richard to become the 1000th recipient, illustrates that the region is brimming with entrepreneurial talent, many of whom have innovated, adapted and succeeded during a particularly challenging time for small business owners.”

Launchpad is the Sheffield City Region’s key business support programme for new business. Financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by local authorities within the Sheffield City Region and the Prince’s Trust, the programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs in the City Region.

Ben Hawley, business adviser at Launchpad said: “Richard came to Launchpad with a clear idea how he wanted to build and grow his business but he wasn’t sure what steps would be needed to help him realise the potential in his ideas and he spent time taking part in wide range of training sessions and it was clear during our meetings that’s he’d spent a great deal of time developing and refining his ideas.

“The business plan he produced clearly illustrated a need for additional investment and the work he undertook enabled him to secure the funds needed to give his business the best possible start.”

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