Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


North Wales Camp Site Secures over £600,000 via CBILS


The Shell Island camp site, is breathing a little easier after securing over £600,000 from Barclays via the CBILS Government backed emergency loan scheme.

Shell Island is one of the largest camping sites in Europe. The 450 acre site based at Llanbedr near Harlech offer stunning views and the added excitement of causeway access as tidal currents cut off access to the island twice a day.

Shell Island started off as a farm dating back to the Doomsday book of 1086. The Island developed as a tourist attraction in the 1880’s with the coming of the railways.

In 1958 it was bought by the Workman family, who still run it today, and opened as a camping site. With its unique location on the North Cardigan Bay, in the Snowdonia National Park, it attracts families from all over the UK and Europe for camping holidays and day visits.

The business which usually employs 25 staff, increasing to over 75 during the busy summer period has capacity for 800 pitches and normally would expect visitor numbers to exceed 200,000 per annum.

George Workman, Company Director at Shell Island said

“Coronavirus struck just as were moving into the busy Spring season and suddenly all our income disappeared overnight.  The bank loan has helped us ensure supplier relationships are maintained as well as helping us pay our staff and creditors.  I think it’s important during this difficult time to make sure our whole supply chain stay on their feet.  As well as honouring our payment terms, it means we will all be better placed for when the time comes to re-boot our business after the crisis.

Our Relationship Director at Barclays, Gary Fletcher, really buys into what we are trying to achieve.  I feel that his understanding and sincere interest in our business made all the difference when we needed this urgent support.  If you don’t have a bank manager that gets close to what you do, your chances of getting stuff done quickly are jeopardised.

The Government backed CBILS loan, was all agreed and drawn down very quickly and with no interest or capital repayments for over 12 months gives us confidence in coming out the other side. The loan is critical in getting us through this period which like most businesses, put enormous strain on our cashflow.  Not a single person on our team has been made redundant. The impact of this pandemic will be felt for years to come by our business because the debt has to be repaid, but hopefully, when this is over, people will go out and support British business as a whole, to help get everybody back on their feet.”.

Gary Fletcher, Barclays Relationship Director said

“Camping is cool again and provides wonderful memories for an affordable cost. This is a family business and therefore they try to make camping as much fun as possible with the minimum of rules and regulations. You roll up here and pitch as close or as far from the sea or sand dunes as you wish. They have all the amenities you would expect from a modern campsite such as shower blocks, bar, restaurant and gift shop but also have space allowing campers to decide how much or how little they want to embrace the great outdoors. All they need now is visitors!”

Barclays is offering a range of measures to support business customers through this difficult period including waiving everyday charges, and fees for all business customers with a turnover below £250,000, capital repayment holidays and new overdraft facilities. For further information please visit or