A CARDIGAN-BASED boat builder has expanded its operations and workforce after securing a sixfigure investment from Barclays.
Swallow Boats received £200,000 to support its expansion, allowing it to hire additional staff and construct a new workshop. The business has created four staff and expects to recruit a further four employees in the next year. Matt Newland, director of Swallow Boats, said: “We faced a number of challenges during the downturn, as we provide a luxury product, but we still continued to increase turnover every year as we maintained our strong marketing strategy and with interest rates so low many clients chose to invest in a luxury item they could enjoy. The business also hopes the new workshop will support a surge in demand following the launch of its new model, the Bay Cruiser 25, at the Southampton Boat Show in September. Newland added: “We recognise the importance of traditional boat building but also embrace the latest technology as we are planning to further invest in computer-controlled machinery. We also have plans to diversify into the powerboat market next year ensuring we have both a more diversified product base and income stream.” Justin Rowland, Barclays business manager, said: “Matt is a great example of an entrepreneur using their experience, contacts and skills to develop a successful business.” Swallow Boats was formed in 2005 and employs 13 staff. The company exports its vessels – which are worth up to £70,000 – to America, Japan and Australia as well supplying customers around the UK.