Lancashire textile firm given £8m funding for expansion

Textile manufacturer R Soper has secured a new £8m financing package from Lloyds Bank as it targets further growth in the UK market.

The deal includes a £6m invoice discounting line, a property loan, and a plant and machinery loan, as well as a letter of credit facility and day to day banking services from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s Mid Markets team in the North West.

The 90-year old Barnoldswick firm, which employs over 300, supplies fabric-based home furnishings such as curtains and furniture coverings to major retailers and is currently the largest manufacturer of blinds in the UK.

Ben Soper, managing director at R Soper, said: “This full service offering means that we are ideally positioned to further grow our presence in the UK retail market – both through our relationships with leading names and our own brand Sandown & Bourne.

“In recent years we have built a fully integrated fabric home furnishings business, which offers the best quality products and a flexible service to customers.”

He added: “Major retailers in this country are putting greater emphasis on buying the best British-made products, having up until recently focused on sourcing goods from the Far East.

Ryan Sorby, relationship director in Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s Mid Markets team in the North West, said the company is fully committed to supporting growth.

“R Soper is a well invested company with a strong management team which can deliver its growth potential over the coming years,” he said.

“The firm is targeting expansion in the UK, and is one of a number of ambitious mid-market manufacturers which will play an increasingly important role in supporting the North West and the wider UK economic recovery.”