Arc Inspirations targets Midlands with £14m refinancing package

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Funds to help expansion: Arc Inspirations CEO Martin Wolstencroft says the bar operator is in an excellent position to grow
Funds to help expansion: Arc Inspirations CEO Martin Wolstencroft says the bar operator is in an excellent position to grow

Related tags Finance Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office Property

Multiple operator Arc Inspirations has secured a £14m refinancing package, which includes a separate £5m facility to help the group expand its site numbers.

Arc Inspirations, which runs 18 sites across its Manahatta, Box and Banyan brands in the north of England, has arranged the financing with HSBC to replace its current debt facilities with Santander as it looks to grow its footprint in prime locations in key cities, predominantly in the Midlands and the north.

The group unveiled two new flagship sites in the fourth quarter of 2021, opening a Manahatta cocktail bar in Temple Street, Birmingham, followed by a Box sports bar and lounge in Deansgate, Manchester. The group has also secured two new sites in key target cities, which it expects to open later this year.

Encouraged by banks’ interest

Arc Inspirations finance director Tim Knockton said: “We’re delighted to have successfully concluded this process – it is clearly a significant endorsement for Arc Inspirations and for the wider hospitality sector. From early in the process, we were extremely encouraged by the number of banks that showed interest in supporting the refinancing and are very pleased to be partnering with HSBC, who are long-term supporters of the sector.”

The new banking arrangements and latest property pipeline developments follow an encouraging period of trading for the group in the second half of 2021. From mid-July to mid-December, the group delivered sales up 42% versus the same trading period in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Record sales week

The strong return to trading after restrictions were eased included a record sales week in August for the group, when it achieved sales of more than £1m across its venues, led by brunches, events and unprecedented pre-booked sales.

On the back of this very strong return to trading, Arc expects to produce a record performance in terms of both profit and sales for its full financial year to 31 March 2022.

Arc Inspirations co-founder and chief executive Martin Wolstencroft said: “The business is in an excellent position to capitalise on forthcoming growth opportunities, and we are very pleased to be entering this partnership with HSBC.  We’re delighted with our recent openings in Birmingham and Manchester, which are further testament to the strength of our people, operations and leading brands, and are excited about the opportunities we have in front of us.”

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