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Blue Flames

  • Organisation Name: Blue Flames
  • Region: North East

The Coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges for many businesses and Unity Trust Bank has been committed to supporting its customers through these turbulent times.

One such customer is Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), Blue Flames, which owns a 15-acre sports and leisure complex in Newcastle.

Steve Crown, Chairman at Blue Flames, said: “Even before lockdown we were aware of the likely impact on our function room and sports income and decided to be proactive.

“One of our first actions was to call our Unity relationship manager Michael Wicks. Unity arranged a three-month capital holiday on our loan and offered advice on possible funding options.

“As the lockdown came in and our business closed down, we held telephone board meetings and issued weekly progress reports to Unity, detailing new income streams, grant applications and a crowdfunding initiative. The bank’s feedback was really helpful and addressed both the short-term issues and our long-term trading prospects.

“Our ongoing correspondence with Unity helped us produce a feasible strategy for reopening and for keeping the business afloat. While there are still many unknown factors facing us, we feel we are now in a position to hopefully weather this storm.”

The Blue Flames complex, previously owned by British Gas, was bought by club members in 1996 to provide facilities for the local community on a not-for-profit basis.

Michael Wicks said: “I have always worked closely with Blue Flames and during the coronavirus period we have had regular calls to discuss ongoing challenges and offer bank support where possible.”

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