Henderson Fletcher Yachts gets £39,500 loan from Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund

New Cornish start-up Henderson Fletcher Yachts

New Cornish start-up Henderson Fletcher Yachts to build high-end, sail-powered yachts and motor cruisers

The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) in the UK has supported new Cornish start-up boatbuilder, Henderson Fletcher Yachts, with a £39,500 loan. The Gweek-based firm will manufacture high-end, sail-powered yachts and motor cruisers to be sold to clients worldwide via an international brokering network.

A 13.4m (44ft) hull, deck and basic superstructure has already been purchased for the first project, ‘Yacht Sofia’, with primary engineering taking place over the coming months. The funding received will primarily be used to create new jobs, enabling the business to begin its growth journey.

Henderson Fletcher Yachts’ owner, Samuel Foster, said: “Once the initial build is complete the sales process can start, allowing the full fit-out to then be more bespoke. This means, however, that the business will have a pre-income period of heavy investment. Getting funding for this type of project is obviously not easy and we are excited to have secured a CIOSIF loan to help us through this stage.”

Foster is a qualified shipwright with over 20 years’ boat construction experience working for major yards in Bristol and Cornwall.

The loan deal was handled by SWIG Finance, which is working with fund managers The FSE Group to deliver the small business loans part of the fund.

SWIG’s business manager, Mike Wall, said: “Sam is committed to growing a viable business based on premium-build quality at fair pricing, given his relatively low overheads. With future expansion funded from retained capital, this is an opportunity to provide ongoing economic value in the area, along with quality training for sustainable, high-quality employment.”

John Acornley, non-executive director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, added: “The fund exists to help small businesses in Cornwall and Scilly overcome barriers to accessing the finance they need to grow and create jobs. This is a great example of how this alternative finance can help a new business get off the ground and I would urge any business with growth ambitions to look into how the fund might help.”

The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25k to £2m to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the LEP and is operated by appointed fund managers FSE Group.