And finally…island dream becomes reality for former banker

Barclays relationship manager Michael Barclay and new owner of the Coffee Pot, Laura Pitchford

A former banker from North Wales has secured funding from Barclays to purchase Argyll House self-catering holiday accommodation and The Coffee Pot tearoom on the Isle of Mull.

The loan from Barclays enabled Laura Pitchford to purchase the hospitality business and put her passion for baking into practice, having always wanted to run her own business. The island is well known to Laura as she has been a regular visitor for more than 20 years.

Argyll House provides accommodation for up to 10 overnight guests across four holiday apartments with the tearoom, which seats up to 18, acting as a focal point for the village of Salen and the local community.

As a lifelong customer of Barclays, Laura approached local Relationship Manager, Michael Barclay, who provided the banking solutions needed to support her ambitions.

“Running my own business is something I’ve wanted to do for some time and when the opportunity arose to purchase Argyll House and the Coffee Pot on the Isle of Mull it was the ideal chance” said Laura Pitchford.

“I’m really excited about the future, looking forward to embracing island life and expanding and developing an already established business. Thanks to the support from Barclays, family and friends, my dream has now been made possible.”

Stuart Brown, head of SME Scotland, Barclays, said: “At Barclays we’re passionate about helping Scotland’s businesses owners at every stage of their journey, and the Coffee Pot and Argyll House self-catering has good growth potential. From the Isle of Mull to Lewis and Harris, the Hebrides are an increasingly popular destination for tourists in Scotland.”

“We were able to offer Laura a local relationship manager Michael, who understood her ambitions and helped her to take ownership of the business. With Barclays’ backing, Laura’s island plans have now become a reality.”