Neil Chapman, Managing Director, Hovertravel
Hovertravel is a Hovercraft company that operates the fastest service between Portsmouth and Southsea and the Isle of Wight.
We’ve been operating for now just over 50 years and carry just over 1 million passengers a year.
We serve the business community, the local community and tourists alike.
We offer a very key part to the infrastructure to connect the island to the mainland.
The investment into hovercraft was a very important milestone for the business.
Our current hovercraft are in excess of 30 years old and we’ve invested into the future of hovercraft and the hovercraft industry.
We had to choose a partner that was aligned with our objectives. Barclays I have to say were absolutely aligned with what we were trying to achieve. What they offered us was an opportunity not only just to do the finance deal, but most important we wanted a relationship that understood our business.
Greg Gilbert, Relationship Director, Barclays
The business came to us two years ago with quite an ambitious plan to invest in two new hovercraft for the ongoing development of the business.
When we set out on this journey one of the objectives was to ensure that this hovercraft reduced the environmental impact. Those areas were noise, sea life, fuel use and so all of those have been met through very, very focused design and implementation.
When we made the lending decision to support Hovertravel one of the key elements that we considered was the societal impact that the provision of our facility was having. This is a key infrastructure link for Isle of Wight residents in terms of opportunities for employment on the mainland but also in supporting the Isle of Wight’s tourism.
Barclays support has been not just about the financing transaction and that stems from elements of sharing best practices whether that be through our reduced mobility, whether that be for training and all those areas that often Hovertravel may not have been able to have access to.
We introduced our head of accessibility to Hovertravel to discuss the work that we’ve done within our branch network about customers that have reduced mobility and who are visually impaired. That best practice was taken to Hovertravel and delivered within their business for those customers that they engage with on a daily basis.
When we went to market our requirement was for investment into two new hovercraft. What we’ve got from Barclays is an awful lot more than that in our partnership going forward.