Bridgewater Interiors

Finding new opportunities

Expanding a thriving business

Darren Crichton-Jones and Mark Robinson, started their interiors business six years ago. They purchased the Victorian Bradley Gardens and adjoining land in Wylam in late 2013 as a way of expanding their business while providing a setting to complement their products.

After purchasing the land, the duo saw an opportunity to open the 18th century walled gardens as a visitor attraction. Albeit with the need for a little redevelopment.

The perfect display 'room'

Bridgewater Interiors on Wellington Street in Gateshead supply bespoke, handmade interiors such as kitchens, bathrooms and dining as well as an interior design service. 

The businessmen recognised that owning the gardens and land would give them the opportunity to showcase their products and designs, whilst providing them with a secondary business – a café.

Darren and Mark invested their own funds, but needed additional capital to ensure all of the renovation work was done to highest possible standard.

From the moment I visited Bradley Gardens I could see its potential as a unique and brilliant addition to what was already an impressive business.

Stephen Farrelly, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

Doing it right

Darren and Mark approached Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to match their own investment for the purchase and redevelopment, which was granted under the Funding for Lending Scheme.

Since opening the gardens, the company’s turnover has increased, and it has grown its headcount to 18 members of staff, including three gardeners, a head chef and new showroom assistants.

Mark Robinson said: “Bradley Gardens is an absolute gem in the countryside, and a lovely place to spend time. Our customers look for a very high-end service and we saw this as the perfect setting to showcase our team’s talents.”

The old glasshouses make a beautiful café, and in the time that we’ve been open we’ve seen a surge in visitors coming to enjoy the setting as much as to shop.

Mark Robinson, Bridgewater Interiors

self funding, with some support

Mark Robinson said: “The team at the bank have been immensely supportive from the word go, visiting us the day after our first call and agreeing the funding a few days later.

“Having someone on board who understands and believes in your business makes all the difference when planning an undertaking like this.”

Stephen Farrelly, relationship manager for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Bridgewater’s steady and profitable growth over the years is a testament to Darren and Mark’s hard work, skills and acumen. There is no doubt that their plan for Bradley Gardens will be a similar success.”

Having someone on board who understands and believes in your business makes all the difference when planning an undertaking like this.

Mark Robinson, Bridgewater Interiors

self funding, with some support

helping britain prosper

Our Helping Britain Prosper plan was launched in March of this year and incorporates bold, public commitments to help address some of the big issues facing Britain today. Supporting our goal to be the best bank for customers, our plan covers the areas where we can make the biggest difference to our customers across households, businesses and communities. We remain strong supporters of the Funding for Lending scheme and committed over £6.5 billion to UK customers in the first 6 months of 2014. The support we give to the UK economy has been recognised externally as, in July, the Group was named for the second year running as the best UK bank at the Euromoney Awards for Excellence.

There’s a range of support we have available to us to help support business ventures like Bridgewater Interiors, whether starting up or taking their next steps to growth, and through the FLS we offer businesses a discount of one per cent for the life of the loan.

Stephen Farrelly, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking