Loan helps hire boat company to reopen

BlueBird Boats has resumed its operations across London parks

London outdoor leisure business BlueBird Boats, which runs public boat hire in parks across the capital, has reopened with support from Clydesdale Bank.

The company was one of many that saw its revenue drop to zero overnight when lockdown was announced in March, closing its sites in Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, Battersea Park, Dulwich Park, Southwark Park and Barking Park.

However, with support from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS), the business has resumed operations, welcoming back staff and customers for the first time in 15 weeks.

“Being an outdoor leisure provider, the start of our peak season should have been in March,” said Peter Scott, BlueBird Boats director. “Instead we watched our revenue drop instantly with the introduction of lockdown.”

BlueBird Boats has ten full time members of staff, with 25 seasonal staff employed during its peak season of March to September and can welcome up to 3,000 visitors a day across its sites.

Although the business has reopened, a lack of trade is expected for some time. It has also had to adapt how it operates, make adjustments to opening times and give staff more flexibility around travel arrangements.

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