Marlborough Leisure

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Marlborough Leisure has pioneered the ‘Leasehold Loan’ since 1989. Initially prompted to venture into this market by the MMC report into pub ownership, leasehold loans now account for the majority of Marlborough’s business. Over the years Marlborough’s expert team has worked with the industry’s entrepreneurs to get the right funding for the right venues. Talking about why he believed Marlborough has enjoyed such success in securing finance for their clients, Chris Heard said, “The key to our success lays in many facets of our business. Firstly, we have a vast amount of experience in the hospitality market, coupled with a full advisory and consultancy package for all new entrants. This means that we get our clients the right finance and maintain a close working relationship to ensure aspirations have the best chance of developing into reality. Having such a good track record with national lenders and proven experience, banks look upon a Marlborough proposition as one that has been well researched, with realistic projections on both sales and costs. This makes them more likely to lend against the business plan provided by us, on behalf of our clients.”

Here, Marlborough Leisure Director, Chris Heard, provides 10 tips for securing finance:

  • Make a detailed list of your assets and resources.   This should include cash, equity in a property, investments, life policies and any articles/possessions, which could be sold to realise cash.
  • Narrow down the type of business (traditional pub, food led operation, town/city centre or rural, letting accommodation, leasehold or freehold, preferred location, fully developed business or one with potential, etc., etc.)   Speak with a specialist licensed trade financial advisor, such as Marlborough Leisure, who can advise you, taking into account the two matters above and your experience in the trade, or lack of it, as to the price range in which you should be looking and the amount it would both possible and prudent to borrow.
  • Contact specialist agents. Ensure that the agent has as much information as possible as to your specific requirements and keep in constant contact so that they know that you are a serious buyer!
  • Begin work on a draft Business Plan (Marlborough will convert your draft or notes into a professional, packaged Business Plan for presentation to the bank) This exercise will help concentrate your mind on the important financial issues which need to be covered when going through the loan application process.
  • Prepare a CV. This should include details of your experience to date both in and out of the licensed trade and make reference to your ambitions in the trade in general and specifically, what you think your skills can do to make the target business a financial success.   These are matters that need to be articulated by Marlborough, on your behalf, in order to convince the bank that you are a sound prospect.
  • Honesty. Always tell the truth, as negative facts, such as a small blip in credit history, can sometimes be overlooked if there are sufficient and substantial positive features to your case.
  • Prepare a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. When you have found a specific business in which you are strongly interested, prepare a simple SWOT analysis by way of researching the business in particular and the area in which it is situated.   Do not rush into the first good business you see or read about, but approach each prospect with a critical eye and ask yourself "would it really be the right one for me?" bearing in mind your abilities, experience and resources.
  • Budget! Budget! Budget! Prepare a detailed cashflow forecast - (Marlborough can do this on your behalf) and take into account seasonal trading variations, capital expenditure, unexpected contingency occurrences, realistic gross profit margins, employment costs and most importantly, your personal spending requirements on a monthly basis.
  • Use licensed trade specialist professionals.  Wherever possible use specialists, as their work will be much more acceptable to your proposed lender and will expedite and support the process.   There are many firms of solicitors, accountants, surveyors, valuers and such like who either do nothing but licensed leisure work or have specialist departments in the sector.
  • Protect your credit status.   Credit agencies now have an incredibly sophisticated system of recording each and every credit transaction in your day-to-day life.   It is therefore essential that all mortgage and loan repayments are made on time and in full and monthly credit and store card payments made on time and for, at the very least, the minimum specified amount.   It will also be necessary to produce at least six months of "clean" bank statements on your behalf.  All lenders scrutinise this information extremely closely.

Banks are aware that licensed trade lending has a high casualty rate and are therefore much more comfortable with a proposition which has been appraised and packaged by a professional company, such as Marlborough Leisure, upon whom the bank will rely on their original assessment of the strength of the proposition, as well as a package of continued support for the project during its first twelve months of trading.

All lending decisions and conditions of lending (interest rates, fees, number of years, special conditions, etc.) are a reflection of perceived risk.   If the proposition is presented in a researched, convincing and detailed package, then the lender will feel relatively safe and offer attractive terms or, quite simply, might lend where in other circumstances the proposition would be rejected.

Marlborough's fees are paid by the bank and added to the loan.

Marlborough can advise on a whole raft of services, including licensed trade specialist professionals and product suppliers, who will, as a result of the Marlborough connection, offer special discounts and deals.


Marlborough Leisure Limited
Registered office - 1 Phipp Street, London EC2A 4PS
Registered in England & Wales No. 3170868 | VAT registered No. 805 3993 16
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