A NELSON-based furniture manufacturer has been given a £2.8m funding package from Barclays through the government-backed Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

A new facility at Buoyant Upholstery will provide additional flexibility to help the business through the Covid-19 crisis by providing a second funding line.

This ensures Buoyant emerges stronger should there be a second lockdown after what has been a difficult time for the industry.

The company is based at Oakbank Mill in Nelson.

It manufactures sofas in its two production plants housed in adjacent sites covering 332,000 sq ft and employing nearly 600 staff.

When the country went into lockdown, it - like many others - had to furlough the majority of the workforce. However, the company’s management took the decision to bring in its sewing machinists and use its factory to help the NHS by making 30,000 PPE gowns per week.

Buoyant Upholstery chairman Joel Rosenblatt said: “We’ve been banking with Barclays for more than 20 years so I was delighted with the practical support they were able to offer once our manufacturing had been temporarily suspended."

Managing director Mike Aramayo said: “Despite the challenges and with Barclays' support, as one of the largest manufacturers of upholstery in the UK, we had a lot of sewing capacity and a lot of capability to support the national effort.

“It has been an extraordinary period in our history, but I am proud of the dedication and resilience shown by our staff and we see this as our small contribution to the important work our healthcare professionals are doing on the frontline every day.”

Steve Berry, Barclays relationship director, said: “Buoyant Upholstery is a long-standing client which prior to Covid-19 was performing extremely well.

“The funding gives the business the additional headroom it needs and we’re confident the business will emerge stronger and continue on its exciting growth journey once normal trading resumes.”

Barclays is offering a range of measures to support business customers through the current difficult period including waiving everyday charges and fees for all business customers with a turnover below £250,000, capital repayment holidays and new overdraft facilities.