Toy store boosted by £3.8 million funding deal

Oswaldtwistle Mills shopping village - which features Ossy's Toy Box - attracts over one million customers per year.
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An independent toy store is set to be boosted after its shopping centre secured a £3.8 million funding package from Barclays.

Shopping village Oswaldtwistle Mills, one of the North West's largest retail and tourism destination outlets, generated a record turnover of more than £8 million in 2012. It contains over 100 concession retailers, including many local independents such as Ossy's Toy Box.

The village attracts over one million customers per year. It generates income from commission payable on handling charges and rents, and acts as managing landlord/site developer with a focus on marketing to drive footfall. 

Boyd Hargreaves, managing director of Oswaldtwistle Mills, said: "The new Barclays deal offers us a much keener level of interest and has allowed us to tidy up our 9.5 acre freehold property portfolio with a strategic building purchase. 

"It enables considerable rent savings on a previously leased part of the site and the funding gives good headroom for further development - without adding to turnover, the new deal will help enhance the profitability of the business over the next 12 months.

"We have pushed our capital expenditure over the last four years within a difficult climate and have secured funds from various lending avenues to get us where we are now. It has been a very difficult process but we are well positioned now to push forward."

Phil Owen, Relationship Director, Lancashire from Barclays, added: "Oswaldtwistle Mills is a longstanding family business that has been a feature in the Lancashire retail scene over the last two generations. Boyd and his management team have impressed us with their strategic growth plans and this deal shows our commitment to the sector and our confidence in the company as it looks to continue its growth strategy."

During the last 4 years Oswaldtwistle Mills has expanded its retail space by 30,000 sq ft to 100,000 sq ft, attracting concessions like Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Thomas Cook and Pavers.

The Mill employs 72 people directly with 190 people employed across the whole mill including its concessions.

Other retailers at The Mill include giftware, garden, rise and recline furniture specialists, a food deli, a sweet shop and more.


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