The ambition to start or grow a business is often a far more exciting and less daunting proposition than the difficulty in finding the funds to realise your vision.
For over twenty-six years, Pembrokeshire Lottery has delivered a ground-breaking scheme that has championed enterprise in the County. However, Pembrokeshire Lottery’s interest-free business loan schemes are still one of the best-kept secrets in West Wales. That might be about to change…
Founded in 1993, Pembrokeshire Lottery is a self-funding, not-for-profit Economic Regeneration scheme that assists both existing and start-up Pembrokeshire businesses, with the benefit of creating long term, sustainable jobs in the County. The Lottery enjoys huge support, with nearly 9000 entrants to their weekly draw. Critically to date, over £6.7 million has been loaned to four hundred and twenty businesses, helping to create over two thousand jobs. With over £2.5 million awarded in prize money, Pembrokeshire Lottery can justifiably take its place as one of the most successful scheme of its kind in the UK.
With the cultivation of local business playing a huge part in Pembrokeshire’s approach to its regeneration programme, Pembrokeshire Lottery’s presence and proven track-record of success provides more evidence for businesses, new and established, wanting to thrive in this most picturesque of settings.
Let these case studies speak for themselves:
Space Travel for Pembrokeshire Visitors
Apple Camping began in 2014 when owner Toby Rhys Davies decided he wanted to provide visitors to Pembrokeshire with some unusual accommodation options. Based around a fun, family-friendly ‘glamping’ site, Apple Camping now proudly offers visitors a choice unique and wonderful of lodgings: a private jet plane, an alien spacecraft, a witch’s hat, a gypsy caravan or, a Pacman! Pembrokeshire Lottery’s investment panel were pleased to support Toby with interest-free loans to help both establish Toby’s business and recently, to support further expansion with a new indoor entertainments area.
Lottery Manager Abigail Owens has been delighted to see Toby’s wild and wonderful vision being realised:
“The Investment Panel were very pleased to see Apple Camping expanding and developing more facilities to cater for their visitors. Pembrokeshire’s tourism offering is growing year-on-year which is great news for the local economy and we’re proud to have assisted many tourism businesses with both start up and expansion.”
Toby Rhys-Davies, Apple Camping’s owner said:
“I wanted to create a glamping site that offered visitors something a bit different and fun. The feedback from our visitors has been fantastic. The Pembrokeshire lottery have been a great support, it’s a really useful facility for Pembrokeshire Businesses to be able to access.”
Farmers Food at Home
Anne Marie Harries from Llanreithan near Haverfordwest has developed her Farmers Food at Home brand of jams and chutneys from small beginnings, collecting three Great Taste Awards along the way. Attending craft fairs and farmers markets over the last few years, the business had grown to the point that production could not keep up with demand and Anne Marie decided she needed to expand. Near the polytunnels where she grows produce, was located a shed that would be suitable for conversion with the prospect of more production: The Jam Shed was born.
In addition to her own investment, Anne Marie had assistance from a Pembrokeshire Lottery interest-free loan, alongside a grant from Welsh Government’s Rural Business Investment Scheme for Food. Pembrokeshire Lottery manager Abigail Owens said ‘It’s fantastic to see a local producer taking their business to the next level. The increased production capacity will mean Farmers Food at Home will be able to expand into new markets and develop more products’
Anne Marie Harries said:
“I would like to thank Pembrokeshire Lottery for their assistance. We can now aim to achieve the SALSA food standard, which will allow us to supply to wholesale outlets. I have been delighted by the support I have received and how this has enabled me to grow.”
Any business based in Pembrokeshire is eligible to apply for an interest-free loan. Abi is clear that loans are available to new and established businesses, with support on hand to assist applicants through the process: ‘We’re proud of our role in helping our local organisations shine brightly and we’re excited to work with anyone who wants to see their business build in Pembrokeshire.
Further information is available at www.pembrokeshirelottery.co.uk