Shropshire Festivals

Success Story 29 August 2023

Shropshire Festivals – A festival of opportunity: how Bounce Back Loan Scheme supported an events company and the local community.

Region/Nation West Midlands
Sector Arts, Entertainment and Leisure
Programme Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

When Beth Heath used a Bounce Back Loan to protect her business in Shropshire, the loan not only boosted the cashflow of her award-winning festival company, but also gave her an opportunity to support her local community during lockdown.

Running festivals across the county that attract more than 90,000 visitors, Shropshire Festivals works with local businesses to display their food produce at events including the Shrewsbury Food Festival, Shropshire Kids Fest, Shropshire Oktoberfest, and the Field to Fork Festival.

“We had to think outside the box a little bit when the festivals had to stop [due to the pandemic],” says Heath, founder of Shropshire Festivals.

“We used the Bounce Back Loan to fund a new online hamper service. People could buy made-to-order hampers, selecting jams, chutneys, and all sorts of delicious items from local producers who would otherwise be exhibiting at our events. The service not only generated cash flow for us, but it also supported those local businesses, who absolutely flourished! The producers typically sell 800 units in a typical festival year, but the platform allowed them to sell over 2,500!”

The income from the hamper service meant Shropshire Festivals could also diversify their activities and supported new ways of connecting with their customers.

Heath obtained her Bounce Back Loan through Barclays Bank.

The cashflow meant we could also provide lockdown-friendly events during the pandemic, including a drive-in Greatest Showman event. We had acrobats, music, and live performers.

It was great for the local community and kept my staff morale up too during such a difficult time.

All in all, the loan has been a great result for the business.

Beth Heath Owner, Shropshire Festivals