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SYIF loan puts final piece in jigsaw for Doncaster hotel refurbishment.

Published: 20th August 2004

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SYIF Director, Brian Leach, left, toasts refurbished Regent Bar with Mike and Simon Longworth.

A £40,000 Small Business Loan from South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) has helped a Doncaster hotelier complete a three-year £1m refurbishment scheme.

Work on the latest phase of expansion and refurbishment at the family-run Regent Hotel in Regent Square is due to be completed in time for the St. Leger race meeting in September. The SYIF loan has enabled hotelier Mike Longworth to complete the final phase of extensive improvements at the three-star hotel which has included the addition of six new bedrooms together with upgrading of existing bedrooms and public areas.

Mr Longworth, who runs the hotel with his son, Simon, has financed the work through a combination of bank loans, grants and funds generated by the business. The final phase of the scheme is costing £250,000 and it was when he found himself with a funding gap that Mr Longworth approached SYIF.

He said: "One of my suppliers suggested I contacted SYIF which I did through Business Link. I have found SYIF great to deal with and very efficient. The loan has enabled us to complete work which is the final piece in the jigsaw of a three-year scheme to improve and modernise our facilities. This is a great relief after three years of playing Bob the Builder!".

The SYIF loan is being put towards upgrading the hotel’s Conservatory function suite, Parade bar and restaurant to create the new Regent bar, restaurant and lounge. The Regent is a popular venue for both corporate and private functions, particularly weddings for which the hotel now has a civil wedding licence.

Investment Manager Allan Wood said: "Our loan has ensured Mike Longworth can fund the completion of the hotel’s refurbishment. One of the key factors enabling us to make this loan was its impact on attracting consumers from outside the region to boost the number of visitors and tourists".

"The Regent is a popular venue and the improvements will make it even more attractive for locals and tourists alike."

The Fund can provide loans and equity investments ranging from £15k to £2.5m to businesses in, or prepared to relocate to, South Yorkshire. The Fund has already invested over £7.5m in more than 100 businesses.

It offers two key products, one of which is loans ranging from £15k to £150k with effective annual interest rates from as little as 2.4% per annum. Loans are unsecured for the majority of established profitable businesses with unsecured loans of up to £50k available for start-ups or early stage.

The second product is an equity-linked package of a loan with equity options or an equity investment, ranging from £50k to £2.5m where the Fund may take a minority shareholding in the business.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd also administers and co-ordinates the provision of Microloans ranging from £1k to £15k on behalf of the Enterprise Agencies in South Yorkshire and provides access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels.

A unique feature of how the Fund can help businesses is the Mentorbank project, which provides subsidised mentoring support to help management teams grow their business more profitably.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).