Staley champions Liverpool’s burgeoning businesses

22 May 2019

Some of Liverpool’s most successful new entrepreneurs met with the Group CEO of Barclays Bank, Jes Staley this morning, as he visited the city to highlight the bank’s £14bn lending fund for businesses who want to invest in growth and create new jobs.

Mr Staley heard how these local businesses are expanding using finance and support from Barclays’ Business Banking team, and he commended their contribution to the city’s economy.
Jes Staley, said: “It’s inspiring to meet these hardworking entrepreneurs who, even in uncertain economic times, are building and growing their businesses, creating new jobs for Liverpool, and boosting the wider North West economy.

“For anyone starting a new venture, having access to finance when you want to take your business to the next level is crucial. That is why we created our lending fund to help people unlock new growth and business opportunities.

“We stand ready to help businesses and start-ups in Liverpool to get the finance and support they need to grow.”

Mr Staley met with Leon Baker and Victoria Bennet, owner and Managing Director of Mersey Vent Ltd, a rapidly expanding supplier of ductwork and ventilation systems who are using finance from Barclays to fund new premises and machinery. The business is now hiring apprentices to work on Manchester Airport Terminal 2, Liverpool Football Club and Liverpool Royal Hospital.

Leon Baker, said: “Being based in the North West is extremely advantageous to our company. We see Liverpool as the hub of the UK, providing great links to the Midlands, North, Scotland and Ireland. When we heard that Barclays was providing a £14bn fund to SMEs we were excited by the potential opportunities that afforded us. Businesses of our size and growth potential often get overlooked.

“As we’ve grown we have always invested in the best machinery and technology available to us so having access to the SME fund is brilliant news. Our strong relationship with Mike Smith our business banking manager is also crucial in helping to put concrete plans in place around a growth ideas. The ways in which Barclays is helping us to move forward with confidence means a great deal to us.”

Other entrepreneurs who met Mr Staley included:

  • Anna Jenkins, owner of Silky Bouquets Ltd in Widnes and Liverpool, a florist business she started initially online from her mother-in-law’s garage in 2011. A commercial mortgage from Barclays has helped Anna expand her business. She now has a second shop, where she also lives, and uses another floor to branch out into weddings and events.
  • Claire Wright, Managing Director of Elite Bistros Ltd, a restaurant group head-quartered in the Wirral, which established the Wreckfish Bistro in a former derelict building in Seel Street, Liverpool. The business has now expanded to six restaurants across the North West. Initially crowdfunded, Elite Bistro Ltd is now using mainstream bank lending to take their business to the next level.
  • The meeting took place at Barclays’ Eagle Lab, based at Avenue HQ, at Mann Island on Liverpool’s waterfront. The Eagle Lab provides space for over 200 people to co-locate their businesses, gaining access to specialist mentoring, networking events and 3D printers.


Notes to Editors:

  1. Pictures are available on request.
  2. The £14.7bn Barclays lending fund is for SMEs nationally at several stages of growth and development. It includes a range of business lending services to participating UK businesses (subject to application and status) including:Business loans, commercial mortgages and overdrafts up to £250k working capital

                • Cash flow funding for investment in growth, management buy-outs and business acquisition
                • Loans for innovative businesses looking for growth funding, capital and environmental investment
                • Maximising government schemes like The Enterprise Finance Guarantee programme, which is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

3. More information on the Barclays Liverpool Eagle Lab is available here: https://labs.uk.barclays/locations/liverpool