NI glamping holiday firm secures £500k investment from Whiterock
Luxury glamping firm FURTHER.SPACE has secured £500,000 of funding through Whiterock Finance’s Growth Finance Fund to fund growth plans and expand across the UK and Ireland for 2021.
FURTHER.SPACE take a unique approach to the glamping market by partnering with rural landowners who own pieces of land in one-of-a-kind locations to create micro-tourism glamping pod sites under the FURTHER.SPACE brand. Rather than a franchise, the landowner retains the land and becomes the host.
Finance for the £30m Growth Finance Fund, which is an accredited Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) lender, has been provided by the British Business Bank, Invest Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC).
The loan will finance FURTHER.SPACE’s plans to deploy an additional 33 new pods across seven new sites by July 2021. This is set to increase to 109 pods across 21 sites by March 2022, including its first venture in Dartmouth, England.
FURTHER.SPACE currently operates across Northern Ireland and Scotland, with locations including Glenarm Castle, Ballycastle, Lough Erne, The Dark Hedges and The Mourne Region. In Scotland, it recently launched its first dark skies site in Dumfries and is set to open a new location in Stirlingshire looking out to Ben Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Sites in Downpatrick and Donegal are also launching in the upcoming months for the summer season.
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The 22 square ft aluminium pods, which can accommodate up to four people are manufactured in-house and designed by FURTHER.SPACE CEO Peter Farquharson, who previously founded Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland. The luxury glamping pod includes an en suite shower room and caters for two adults and two kids. The pods are manufactured exclusively for FURTHER.SPACE partners.
FURTHER.SPACE also provide the booking system and customer support platform, plus marketing function to collectively reach a growing audience of repeat and first-time glampers.
James Thompson from Whiterock Finance said: “With 100% occupancy rates over the 2020 summer months, FURTHER.SPACE have certainly captured an audience on the island of Ireland. Although the pandemic has accelerated demand this year, the market for unique experience getaways has been growing year on year. FURTHER.SPACE is providing a distinctive offering by working with local partners to diversify their land creating a sustainable market. We’re looking forward to see the company continue to grow.”
Peter Farquharson, CEO of FURTHER.SPACE explained: “The funding from Whiterock will be essential as we look to expand on what we feel is a winning formula – our vision is to go beyond the ordinary and let customers stay somewhere exclusive, cosy and stylish with nature on their doorstep. It has been a difficult year for people to find an escape from the pressure of Covid restrictions. We operate a self-check-in and self-catering service, and the individuality of the pods means that when restrictions allow, customers can holiday safely.”
David Maxwell, COO of FURTHER.SPACE added: “The loan will finance our plans to deploy an additional 33 new pods across seven new sites by July 2021. This is set to increase to 109 pods across 21 sites by March 2022, including our first venture in Dartmouth, England. As we expand we are actively looking for more unique locations, with local hosts, offering landowners an opportunity to diversify their land and generate greater revenue”.
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