June 16

Bathgate broker £100k deal for Anselmians RUFC

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L-R: Gordon Andrews (Bathgate), Jim McKenzie (Anselmians), Ben Humphreys (Bathgate) and Richard Burnett (Hillyer McKeown) outside Anselmians new Eastham Pavilion.

Photographs by Deana Kay.


A £100k deal brokered by Bathgate Business Finance has helped bring a ten-year project to improve a Wirral rugby club’s player and community facilities to completion.

The West Kirby-based finance specialist secured the funding for Eastham-based Anselmians RUFC after COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions delayed improvements to player and member facilities and the build of a high-end event space and community hub.

The project started in 2011 in a bid to create new facilities that would support the local community in Eastham and the wider Wirral area, alongside driving revenue to support the club’s survival in the face of declining participant numbers.

The project was expected to complete in spring 2020 but increased costs to ensure the quality of the build and disruption caused by the Covid pandemic meant that additional funding was required to complete the project to its high specification and in time for when restrictions are due to be fully eased in June 2021. Despite having a solid business case, the club was frustrated to find it was not able to secure funding from its own bank or usual lenders, who were focused on securing CBILS loans and nervous about investing in a hospitality-focused project.

They turned to Bathgate Business Finance - a sponsor of Anselmians RUFC since 2018 - following a recommendation by Richard Burnett, from the club’s Solicitors Hillyer McKeown. Bathgate property finance expert, Ben Humphreys, quickly identified a funder that understood new developments and specialised in community led projects. A deal was successfully brokered, ensuring that the club was offered a flexible repayment structure and competitive interest rates.

Jim McKenzie, Executive Director at Anselmians RUFC said: “In order to exceed the expectations of our members we always knew that some short funding would be needed, so it was extremely frustrating to find that we couldn’t secure finance through our usual routes. Bathgate stepped in and Ben was enormously supportive of the project from the start. We were pleasantly surprised by Bathgate’s portfolio of non-standard lenders; we found the whole team extremely easy to deal with and Ben was extremely effective in brokering the relationship between ourselves and the lender.

“We launched this project in 2011, with the build itself starting two years ago, so it’s been a long road. There has been a lot of excitement around the launch, as people have been watching the project progress with great interest, and we are already fully booked up for events until spring 2022. We eagerly awaited the day we could start operating and welcoming our guests and were delighted to open the doors of Eastham Pavilion to members on Monday 17th May, with many more private, public and community events to follow over this summer.”

The new facilities at Anselmians will also be home to Wirral Community Hub, where Wirral Youth Services will be providing children and young people with activities, while the club will also be providing young people with more opportunities to get into the game. Once fully open, the hospitality facilities will generate new jobs for the area, employing 15 people on a part-time basis initially, with ambitions to grow its staff base in line with demand.

Ben Humphreys from Bathgate Business Finance said: “It’s been great to be able to help get this project over the line. The new buildings look fantastic and they are providing world-class facilities for the local community, while the club is also bringing new jobs to the area. We are happy to hear that there is already a raft of events booked for 2021 and beyond, including business networking events that we’re looking forward to supporting, and we wish Anselmians all the best for its upcoming launch events."

Richard Burnett from Hillyer McKeown Solicitors said: “We have been involved in this project from the start, acting for the club on the redevelopment scheme and the sale of land for residential development. This funding feels like the final piece of the jigsaw, leaving a community legacy we are all very proud of."

Forthcoming events at Eastham Pavilion include a Summer Ball and Eastham Festival in August.

To stay up to date with all events, please visit:

www.anselmiansrufc.com or www.easthampavilion.co.uk

 For further information about Bathgate Business Finance, please contact Ben Humphreys on 07436 123 856.

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