International House London (IH London), which ordinarily welcomes around 10,000 students a year, is continuing to navigate disruption caused by COVID-19 and looking to the future, with support from Lloyds Bank.

Lloyds Bank
18 March 2021
2 min read

The London based language school offers courses in English language, teacher training and courses for young learners, as well as testing through international exam boards. Located in Covent Garden, the school suspended face to face teaching in March in accordance with government guide lines. The seven figure loan from Lloyds Bank has enabled it to swiftly transition to offering foreign language lessons and teacher training courses online, invest in a student portal, operate within the necessary social distancing measures and maintain excellent teaching standards across all business streams.



"Lloyds Bank’s support has helped us to continue trading, and gave us the working capital and confidence to grow the business by building a new online digital product portfolio alongside face to face courses."

Karen Smith Watson, Finance Director at IH London



According to English UK, the national association of English language centres, the ELT industry brings in approximately £1.4bn in export earnings, and around 550,000 students to the UK, each year. With many language schools faced with hardship due to the repercussions of COVID-19, it was inevitable for IH London to experience a drop in take up between April and June. However, it was one of the first London language schools to reopen its doors to exams candidates in June and has been open again fully for face to face teaching as of September, bringing student numbers back up to well over 1,000.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty, finance director Karen Smith Watson remains hopeful that student numbers will be able to steadily increase in time for next summer.

All lending is subject to status.

Related content


Support for businesses impacted by coronavirus

We are committed to helping our business customers through any interruptions they face at this time.

Find out more
Woman using her moile phone

The Big Conversation: helping Britain recover

We get to the heart of what the UK’s people, businesses and communities need to emerge stronger and better than before.

Find out more

Our purpose

Find out more about our purpose and read other case studies that show how we're Helping Britain Prosper.

Find out more

Discover more

Popular topics that you might be interested in