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Barclays is supporting Kelburn Castle’s glamping business expansion by providing £1m of funding. The family estate is one of the oldest of its kind in Scotland, a 13th century castle sitting on 3,500 acres of land near Fairlie in North Ayrshire.

Patrick Boyle, 10th Earl of Glasgow and the estate’s current owner, decided to open the castle’s gates and grounds to the general public in the 70s. He saw the potential income his estate could generate,so he begun setting up a variety of activities and attractions for the public to enjoy.

Taking note of the rising popularity of glamping, he decided to expand his estate’s glamping experience and approached Barclays for financial support:

“This deal marks the first time our family has banked with Barclays, and I have to say that the experience and service has been unrivalled. We needed a banking partner that would take the time to understand the heritage of our business but also recognise our ambition for growth. The Barclays team showed a willingness to help from the outset and their industry knowledge made them a perfect fit for us.”

“This funding will allow us to reinvest in the estate to increase visitor numbers. We plan to install an additional nine yurts in direct response to the growing demand for glamping, and we are considering adding a communal building for campers to further drive growth and transform the site into a hospitality and music festival venue.”

Barclays’ help comes from a specific loan fund dedicated to help SMEs in Scotland grow their businesses. It was set up in 2016 and is worth £500m, all dedicated to help businesses in all sectors who have a maximum turnover of £25m.

Barclays’ Agriculture Relationship Director Scot Howie was at the forefront of the deal, saying:

“The importance of estates diversifying their offering and developing new income streams is vital for creating long-term sustainability, whether it’s introducing renewables or opening the doors to the public to enjoy their heritage. Our experienced agriculture team has helped many landowners implement initiatives to improve business resilience and increase profitability.”

“Kelburn Castle and Estate has successfully accomplished this by continually evolving its offering as a popular visitor attraction and tourist destination in line with changing consumer demands. The estate now has a strong market position in Ayrshire, and we’re proud to support the family and help them make the most of opportunities for long-term growth.”

On top of running the glamping business, Boyle also uses his estate for other projects such as an equestrian centre or renting his estate for weddings and private events.

Source: Evening Times

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