Ticket specialist Attraction World has secured "seven-figure" government-backed funding to help the business rebound following the coronavirus crisis, but has confirmed it will likely have to make "some redundancies" as a result of the downturn.
After identifying the funding it required to "bridge" the winter low-season and build on "strong demand for 2021", the business has successfully tapped the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
The scheme is designed to help small to medium-sized businesses to access loans and other finance worth up to £5 million to guard against the effects of Covid-19; 80% of the finance to the lender is guaranteed by the government, which also pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.
"Many companies in the travel and leisure sectors have experienced a significant negative impact on business due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is no different at Attraction World," said the business in a statement provided to TTG.
Funding will come from long-term baking partner Barclays, which was able to assess Attraction World’s funding need through "its understanding of Attraction World’s business model and cash flow cycle". The cash will be available for Attraction World to draw down over the coming months, "if required".
"Attraction World is exactly the sort of business the CBILS scheme was designed for," said chief executive Paul Stobbs, who led a management buyout of the firm back in February. "[It is] a robust business model, but in an industry which has been heavily impacted by the pandemic."
It comes after Attraction World completed a full strategic review of the business to assess the impact of Covid-19 and subsequently took "all necessary steps to ensure the business is well placed to take advantage of future opportunities", which includes working with the UK travel trade.
The review will, however, result in some "inevitable" redundancies, Attraction World confirmed to TTG on Wednesday (22 July).
"Following the successful application for CBILS funding, the company is confident it will be able to retain most employees within the business," said Attraction World.
"Some redundancies will unfortunately be inevitable as the company seeks to deal with a reduction in demand throughout the remainder of 2020.
"Attraction World has shown resilience after being impacted by the coronavirus outbreak in March. While it has faced numerous ticket cancellations for 2020, it has also experienced strong booking levels for 2021 departures, demonstrating the British public’s desire to carry on with life as travel restrictions ease."