Cottage home

“Access gave us the financial injection we needed to accelerate our renovations and get them complete without losing valuable trade.”

A funding boost has helped a luxury holiday cottage provider in Whitby to rejuvenate its properties in time for the thriving summer season.

Shoreline Cottages operates 25 top of the range, individually styled cottages in the scenic Yorkshire seaside town, famous for its picturesque landmarks and gothic horror heritage. The cottages have earned a reputation for elegance and style, with glowing reviews in publications such as the Sunday Express and The Lady, so it was imperative that they were maintained to the impeccable standards that their client base expected.

Lesley Hunter from Shoreline Cottages explains: “Our guests are used to a five star standard, and excellent maintenance is a big part of our service. With such a high turnover of guests, especially during the summer, the cottages need a lot of care to deal with the unavoidable wear and tear. We’ve built our reputation on attention to detail – each of our cottages is individually styled by an interior designer, for example – so it’s important that the properties stay luxurious and well-maintained.”

The finance facility that Access Commercial Finance provided to Shoreline meant that the holiday letting company were able to refresh the cottages immediately, so they retained their period elegance, rather than waiting till October when this work was originally planned and potentially having less happy guests in the busy summer period in some of the properties.

The cost of upkeep and maintenance is a common issue for letting and travel businesses, especially those at the high-end of the market like Shoreline, and particularly post-recession when the building trade has picked up and the cost of renovations has soared. High-street lenders are often reluctant to offer funding to companies in the travel and lettings sectors because of the seasonal ebb and flow of cashflow, and its inevitable impact on annual balance sheets.

Matt Haycox from Access Commercial Finance says: “UK travel businesses like Shoreline often don’t fit neatly within the criteria that are expected when it comes to accessing short-term commercial finance. Seasonal fluctuations and the unpredictable nature of UK tourism can have an impact on cashflow which can be a deterrent for some lenders. At Access, we like to look at the whole picture and get to know our clients’ businesses – a company that’s been trading successfully for nearly 20 years with a great reputation, for example, is probably used to riding out seasonal dips in trade.”

After discussing their plans, and getting to know how the lettings business worked in Whitby for Shoreline, Access Commercial Finance was able to provide the funding to restore the properties to their usual high standard in time for summer trade.

Lesley said: “We were really impressed with the way that Access Commercial Finance understands the intricacies of our business, and the way it’s affected by seasonal custom. It was refreshing that they also grasped that the work was essential to be able to trade. At the less luxurious end of the market, it might be possible to gloss over minor imperfections and carry on, but because we have built our brand and reputation on high standards and attention to detail, we have to maintain our customers’ expectations and Access Commercial Finance understood this without question.”

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