Case Studies
Exterior of Haweswater Hotel surrounded by trees, a lake and hill

Haweswater Hotel

Partner: NatWest
Region: North West
Location: Penrith
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Although the enforced shutdown due to COVID-19 caused the Haweswater Hotel severe cashflow problems, the owners of the business also recognised an opportunity. A loan from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) would not only provide them with working capital during the closure, but would allow them to invest in some beneficial upgrades.

Read what the business had to say in this CBILS case study.

British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?

Stephen O’Sullivan, director of the Haweswater Hotel: The Haweswater is an Art Deco country house hotel in the Lake District, set in its own valley and sitting right on the lake within the Haweswater nature reserve.

The coronavirus has affected a huge number of businesses across the UK. What problems were you facing as a result of the outbreak and what made you apply for CBILS support?

Shutting the business at such short notice gave us serious cashflow problems. We had months worth of supplier invoices to pay, but no revenue to pay them with.

However, we saw the shutdown as an opportunity to complete some upgrades, so we applied for a loan to cover our working capital needs, losses we expected to suffer, and some new investment.

How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?

The application process took less than two weeks, and was simple enough that we needed no additional support.


The CBILS loan, and the enforced shutdown, has given us an opportunity to take the business to the next level. We now look forward to welcoming our customers back to see the changes we’ve made.

Stephen O’Sullivan, director of the Haweswater Hotel


What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying for a CBILS loan?

The process of getting a loan may seem cumbersome at the outset, but it’s worth remembering that the lender is still making a decision over whether to provide credit.

For that reason, I’d advise other businesses to remain patient, understand the rules of the scheme and make sure they have a really good business case to put forward.

How has the CBILS loan helped your business to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received it?

The CBILS loan, and indeed the enforced period of inactivity that the shutdown has brought, has allowed us to take our business to the next level. We can now look forward to welcoming our customers back to see the changes we’ve made during this time.

If we hadn’t have applied to CBILS for that financial support, there was a chance the business would have been put into administration.

Find out more about Haweswater Hotel

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