One of the UK’s leading gastro-pub groups, Peach Pubs, is beginning preparations to reopen in line with government guidance after securing a £1.5 million overdraft increase from HSBC UK.The company, which is headquartered in Bicester, Oxfordshire, has 19 locations across England, six of which offer boutique hotel accommodation. All have been closed since April as the British hospitality industry continues to be severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The seven-figure finance package from HSBC UK enabled Peach Pubs to temporarily close its business and support both its staff and local communities through charitable initiatives. Over the past two and a half months, Peach Pubs has partnered with YourHub.Pub, a social enterprise which was set up during the pandemic to support hospitality companies that donate meals to frontline NHS staff and vulnerable people. YourHub.Pub worked with volunteers to create food hubs at Peach Pub locations which, to date, have helped to donate over 8,000 meals to those in need.
Hamish Stoddart, managing director and co-founder of Peach Pubs commented: “It’s undoubtedly been a difficult time everyone in the hospitality industry. We finished a major £750,000 refurbishment of our newest pub location, The Boathouse at Boulters Lock, earlier this year, which opened for one day before the UK went into lockdown. This could have been a significant issue for Peach Pubs but HSBC UK still provided the finance within days, allowing us to pay all the builders and contractors on time. The funding has been instrumental in helping it survive the pandemic and I’m confident that Peach Pubs will see a strong reopening. Not all my peers in hospitality have been lucky enough to have chosen HSBC and I’ll be toasting the team as we pull the first pint on opening day.”
All of Peach Pubs locations are now looking towards reopening in line with government guidance and the group is hoping to welcome back customers in a safe, socially distanced capacity, operating through table service only. HSBC UK’s support has allowed the company to invest in additional safety measures, including screens and temperature checks and masks for staff, and the funding will continue to cover lost income whilst the pubs are operating at a reduced capacity.
Cameron Rathwell, area director and head of corporate banking in Thames Valley, HSBC UK, commented: “Peach Pubs has shown great community spirit during the pandemic, a true example of how many firms in hospitality industry are still supporting their communities. We are pleased to be able to support the business through these challenging times and we look forward to continuing that support as the hospitality industry reopens.”