You wouldn’t normally associate farming and golf, but they do share a key attribute…land management.
In 2015, Wrangaton Golf Club, a members’ run course at the time, fell into administration and came up for sale. A local farming family immediately saw an opportunity to transform the course into something different – a more inclusive environment with greater flexibility for participation – having previously built a 9 hole course 15 years before. The plan was to improve the club house and make the course a more open and friendly operation. The course would charge membership fees and continue their ethos of open “pay & play” so that everyone could enjoy the course whenever they wanted.
With the course and land up for sale, Richard and Jane went about trying to secure the finance required through the bank they had dealt with for the last 30 years or so and, to their surprise, they were refused even though they had more assets than required to secure a good rate on a loan.
“The banks weren’t keen on the purchase. They didn’t want to lend to us as it was classed as “leisure”, a sector they had pulled out of,” said Richard. “I went to a few other banks which all said no, but at least the last one referred us to Folk2Folk.”
Richard and Jane borrowed £350,000 in 2015 and repaid the loan in July 2017.
“The application with Folk2Folk was very straight-forward. It went through in roughly three weeks with funds in our account. This helped us crack on with improving the course and creating a better club for both existing and new members.”
Richard and Jane used around £250,000 for the purchase with the other £100k spent on course equipment, building and renovations, the upgrading of utilities and creating some working capital. This allowed them to turn Wrangaton into a unique course set across open moors, providing a challenging golfing experience to players of all abilities, utilising all of their land management expertise, from tending the greens and the fairways to reshaping the course to fit with the natural surroundings.
“It’s been a fantastic 18 months. Our three sons have all worked extremely hard; hard work which has seen the business return to a positive balance and we have gained an extra 80 members since 2015.”
“As a business we would have had no hope without FOLK2FOLK and its Lenders backing our plans.”
“Our plan is to continue to grow our membership for this unique moorland golf course, and we are actively looking to purchase another golf club. That way our membership can run across multiple sites, so our members can choose where and when to play depending on what suits them on that day.”
Richard and Jane have been so impressed with the way the FOLK2FOLK has helped them, that they’re now looking to invest as Lenders to help other businesses flourish and execute their plans. “It’s great that money is going to people like us who want to get on and do something good. We’re grateful that local people believed in our business and are proud that we have achieved what we said we would through a lot of hard work.”
“We want to help other businesses achieve the success we’ve had and luckily, through FOLK2FOLK, we can do just that!”
For more information about our secured business loans and how we can help your business grow, diversify or refinance please visit https://www.folk2folk.com/borrow/get-a-business-loan/
For more information about Wrangaton Golf Club – visit – https://www.wrangatongolfclub.co.uk/