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Glamping Site Set to Expand with Six-Figure Boost

Derry Green, Aidy Riggot, Jonathan Nelson

A popular Lancashire glamping site, which has hosted TV shows including Celebs Go Dating and Married at First Sight, has secured a six-figure loan which will enable it to expand with five new pods.

The Secret Garden Glamping in Skelmersdale began as a project during the first Covid-19 lockdown when founder Derry Green built a single glamping pod for his children to enjoy.

After sharing his construction journey on Facebook, and appearing on a number of news sites, Green listed the pod on Airbnb, where it was fully booked for two years.

An additional seven pods have now been built, with planning permission secured for an extra five, which the £250,000 from Lancashire County Council's Rosebud Finance will support.

Having secured a waiting list of more than 50,000 – and now employing 14 people – Green has plans to expand to another site within the local area.

He said: "It's hard to believe that a small project for my kids during lockdown has grown into the business it is today. The rapid growth of our site has been incredibly exciting to see, not only creating unique holidays for people to enjoy, but also bringing significant levels of tourism into Skelmersdale and the surrounding area to help uplift the whole community.

"The process with Jonathan and Rosebud was incredibly straight forward. Before speaking with him, I wasn't even sure external finance was the right option for us. However, after speaking with Jonathan, the process couldn't have been simpler. I felt completely informed and supported throughout, ultimately leading to us getting the financing we needed to help scale the business and expand."

Jonathan Nelson, fund manager at Rosebud Finance, added: "The rapid growth of The Secret Garden Glamping has been incredible to see, growing from one pod to a globally recognised attraction. The site has also been able to put Skelmersdale, an area not typically known for tourism, on the world stage and boost the local economy.

"With no signs of slowing down, the next few years promise to be just as exciting for the business, with the consolidation of its current site as well as grand plans for a new site. I wish Derry and the team the best of luck on what is sure to be an incredibly successful future."

Councillor Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth at Lancashire County Council, said: "It is extraordinary stories like that of The Secret Garden that show the true creativity and innovation the Lancashire business community holds. Given this, the important role Rosebud plays in driving forward start-up activity can't be understated. The fund not only supports these entrepreneurs, but also drives job creation and wider economic growth across our region, putting Lancashire on the map as the ideal place to start a business."

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