£2 million Bathgate deal secures ‘investment in the future’ of Wirral Chamber

A £2 million deal brokered by Bathgate Business Finance has enabled Wirral Chamber to purchase a property from Wirral Borough Council, securing a sustainable foundation for the Chamber and creating a legacy for future generations of Wirral businesses.

The loan facilitated Wirral Chamber’s long-standing aspiration to purchase Egerton House in Birkenhead, located on the edge of the ambitious Wirral Waters development.

Navigating the economic climate and facing rising interest rates, the Chamber found accessing traditional financing options increasingly challenging. Recognising those limitations, it turned to strategic partner Bathgate to find a viable funding solution.

Working closely with Wirral Chamber, the West Kirby based business finance specialists embarked on a comprehensive search of its network of alternative funders to identify one that shared the Chamber’s vision and grasped the potential of the project.

Success hinged on communicating Wirral Chamber’s strategic vision for the building and articulating how acquiring Egerton House would contribute to its long-term goals and sustainability, and demonstrating the value proposition, potential returns, and the social impact of the investment.

This process involved extensive due diligence, financial analysis, and meticulous planning to address the economic uncertainties and mitigate risks associated with rising interest rates. Bathgate worked Chirag Mistry, Relationship Director for Reliance Bank, a lender with a history of loaning to community-based projects, to secure the deal.

Paula Bassnet, Chair of the Board of Wirral Chamber of Commerce, said, “When the opportunity to acquire Egerton House presented itself, we knew in our hearts that this was more than just a transaction. It was an investment in the future of Wirral Chamber and the entire community it serves. 

“By taking ownership of the property, we were not only securing a stable foundation for Wirral Chamber in the short term but also laying the groundwork for its enduring legacy for generations to come.

“Our vision extends far beyond mere stability; it’s about creating a lasting impact that transcends time. Egerton House is not just a building – it is a symbol of resilience, progress, and the unwavering spirit of entrepreneurship that defines Wirral Chamber. By safeguarding their futures, we are ensuring that the Chamber remains a vital lifeline for businesses, a catalyst for growth, and a pillar of support for our community for years to come.”

Speaking of the Chamber’s partnership with Bathgate to secure the deal, Paula added, “Our partnership with Gordon Andrews and the Bathgate team has been instrumental in our journey towards supporting businesses on Wirral. Their expertise and dedication to empowering local enterprises have made a tangible difference in our community. When the opportunity arose to acquire Egerton House, we knew that we could rely on Bathgate to provide the advice and support necessary to make this endeavor a success.

“Their deep understanding of the local business landscape, coupled with their strategic insights, made them the perfect ally for this ambitious undertaking. We have witnessed firsthand how Gordon and Bathgate have helped numerous businesses in our network thrive and grow and we were confident that their guidance would be invaluable as we navigated the complexities of purchasing Egerton House.”

Since the deal, Egerton House has been transformed into a modern open-plan office space and is currently the dynamic and collaborative home to 45 local businesses. The newly acquired premises not only enhance productivity and efficiency but also foster a culture of creativity and innovation that will propel the Wirral community forward. 

Speaking of the deal, Bathgate managing director, Gordon Andrews, said, “As a Wirral-based business ourselves, we recognise the vital role of the Chamber in the economic growth of the region and how it helps local businesses to thrive. 

“This deal posed some unique challenges, including finding a funder who would agree the loan based on the Chamber’s ambitious vision and projections around tenancies, potential for social impact and return on investment.

“Through our extensive network and relationships with a wide range of alternative funders, and working closely with the Chamber’s finance director, Neil Coles, we brokered an excellent deal with Reliance Bank that allowed the Chamber to make this vital investment.

“The acquisition of the property has physically placed Wirral Chamber and the businesses it supports on the edge of one of the UK’s largest redevelopment areas, Wirral Waters, with access to tailored support services, networking opportunities, or access to resources and expertise.

“Strategically, this positions the Chamber as a catalyst for success and allows it to forge on with its core mission – to collaborate with as many businesses as possible, empower them to unlock their full potential and achieve their growth objectives.”

Now, with the facility up and running, the Chamber’s five-year strategy includes the modernisation of the whole internal part of Egerton House, taking advantage of our amazing views of the Liverpool skyline and starting projects into renewable energy, with the aim of making the building Net-zero, to help align with wider economic goals and assist our businesses when tendering in the future.

The deal is a further demonstration of Bathgate’s award-winning support for SMEs and its commitment to service excellence. In September 2023 it was named winner in two categories at the prestigious NACFB Commercial Broker Awards 2023 – the SME Champion and Service Excellence award – and in October 2023 won Professional Services Business of the Year at the Merseyside Independent Business Awards (MIBS).

Image: Paula Basnett (Wirral Chamber), Gordon Andrews (Bathgate) outside Egerton House. Credit: Andrew AB Photography

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