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Yorkshire peer lending platform quenches cider producer’s expansion thirst

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A £72k loan from Leeds peer-to-business lending platform rebuildingsociety.com is going down a treat with a cider producer who is relocating to bigger premises.

The loan will enable Mr Whitehead’s Cider, based in Hampshire, to grow the £1m turnover business which produces a range of ciders, vinegars and juices for major supermarkets and national pub chains including Tesco and JD Wetherspoon.

The rebuildingsociety loan involved 150 people lending an average of £480 each, with the smallest contribution being just £10.

The cider producer makes monthly capital and interest repayments, with rebuildingsociety.com acting as administrator to distribute the funds to lenders.

Angus Whitehead, owner of Mr Whitehead’s Cider, which was launched a decade ago, secured the loan after finding rebuildingsociety.com though the UK Crowdfunding Association – engaging with lenders and responding to their questions via an online forum.

Angus said:

“I am so grateful to the 150 individuals for believing in my business and lending us their cash.

“It was the first time that we had used this type of lending, but I would recommend this approach because it was an engaging process and only took us a couple of weeks from submitting our application to getting the money in the bank.”

rebuildingsociety.com is a peer-to-business lending platform that connects creditworthy UK businesses looking for a loan, with individuals who are prepared to lend their own money for a return that often far outstrips other retail savings products.

To date, rebuildingsociety.com has advanced £2.6m of cash generated through private individuals to over 50 UK businesses.

The loan will enable Mr Whitehead’s Cider to relocate the business to larger premises, install specialist machinery to increase its product range and take on more people.

rebuildingsociety.com investor James Lynch supported the business through his Investment Working Capital Fund.

He said:

“It was a perfectly simple decision for me because Angus ticked all of the boxes when it came to the qualities you would look for in an entrepreneur.

“He is very forward thinking and has an excellent grasp of all the financial matters required to successfully grow his business.”

Dan Rajkumar, MD of rebuildingsociety.com said that food and drink businesses are especially popular with its investors because everyone can relate to them.

He said:

“Angus came to us first ahead of the bank. He had been following the sector for a while and wanted to try it out.

“His business and positive approach struck a chord with our lenders and he has raised the vital finance he needed, and also raised awareness of his product with hundreds of lenders who are now stakeholders.

“This success story reinforces the positive influence of borrowing money through crowd lending and we wish Angus every success with his vibrant expansion plans.”

Peer-to-business lending is not without risk and although credit checks are undertaken, should a business fail, investors may lose some or all of their investment because the lending is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Peer funding boosts expansion for cider producer.
Angus Whitehead (left) and his team

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