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£500k funding boost to aid 'glamping' firm's growth

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Peter Farquharson of Further Space with James Thompson from Whiterock Finance

Peter Farquharson of Further Space with James Thompson from Whiterock Finance

Peter Farquharson of Further Space with James Thompson from Whiterock Finance

A surging demand for luxury camping during the Covid-19 pandemic has seen one firm undergo expansion thanks to a £500,000 funding injection.

Further Space, which secured the money through Whiterock Finance's Growth Finance Fund, will now accelerate its plans to grow across Ireland and the UK this year.

This will involve the creation of 33 pods across seven new sites by July 2021, including in Downpatrick and Donegal.

The company will then increase to 109 pods across 21 sites by March 2022, including its first venture in England at Dartmouth.

Further Space's work model sees it partner with rural landowners who own sites in "one-of-a-kind locations" to create micro-tourism.

Rather than a franchise, the landowner retains the site and becomes the host.

Its 22 sq ft aluminium pods, which can accommodate up to four people, are designed by Further Space chief executive Peter Farquharson and manufactured in-house.

The luxury glamping pod includes an en suite shower room and caters for two adults and two kids. The pods are manufactured exclusively for Further Space partners.

The company also provides the booking system and customer support platform for its hosts, plus the marketing function to reach a growing audience of first-time and repeat visitors.

It presently operates across Northern Ireland and Scotland with locations including Glenarm Castle, Lough Erne, the Dark Hedges and the Mourne region.

Mr Farquharson said: "The funding from Whiterock will be essential as we look to expand on what we feel is a winning formula.

"Our vision is to go beyond the ordinary and let customers stay somewhere exclusive, cosy and stylish with nature on their doorstep.

"It has been a difficult year for people to find an escape from the pressure of Covid restrictions.

"We operate a self-check-in and self-catering service, and the individuality of the pods means that when restrictions allow, customers can holiday safely."

Money for the £30m Growth Finance Fund, which is an accredited Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) lender, has been provided by the British Business Bank, Invest NI and Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee.

Belfast Telegraph


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