A BURNLEY luxury sweet treat manufacturer received a vital boost this week with a £250,000 investment from Barclays as part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Cherrytree Bakery, based on Belshaw Court, Billington Road, manufactures premium sweet treats such as muffins, brownies and tray bakes, which have proved popular both regionally and nationally since the company was founded in 1984.

However, the coronavirus situation has meant that many of the company’s sales to the coffee shop and retail markets has fallen off dramatically, leaving them in need of support, which managers were relieved to receive from the government backed scheme.

Company founder and managing director Gary Entwistle said: “For us, the ease of applying for the loan was extremely helpful and will enable us to rebuild the business, and to cover working capital requirements, as we look to recover from the period associated with the coronavirus lockdown.”

He added: “Providing financial forecasting for the short to medium term was never going to be easy but, Barclays and Cherrytree worked closely together to get this done.”

The scheme is designed to allow small to medium sized businesses access loans of up to £5 million to help them survive the crisis, the government guarantees 80% of the finance to private lenders and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

Any business that is based in the UK and has an annual turnover of anything up to £45 million is eligible to apply if they can prove that they have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

Barclays Relationship Director Shakira Musarat said: “Gary and his team have put in a huge amount of work to build Cherrytree Bakery into an innovative and well respected business, so when coronavirus impacted them, we moved quickly to discuss how Barclays could help.

“As a bank, we provided the necessary information so the company could make the right decisions in a difficult situation.

“The CBILS loan will give the company enough fuel to get through in this uncertain time and be ready to bounce back quickly when demand returns.”

For more information on the CBILS, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme.