UK Export Finance
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Ship outfitter lands £1 million growth funding with UK Export Finance support

Award-winning Hampshire-based ship outfitter secures government-backed funding from Lloyds Bank as it meets growing post-pandemic demand.

  • Trimline secures £1 million trade finance package from Lloyds Bank supported by UK Export Finance (UKEF). 

  • The specialist marine interior outfitter plans to use financing to continue its strong growth trajectory and advance a range of existing projects within the next year.

UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, has helped specialist interior outfitter Trimline to secure a £1 million financing package supporting its work refurbishing cruise ships and ferries around the world. Lloyds Bank provided the facility, which is supported by UKEF and allows Trimline to target new business opportunities as demand continues rising almost two years after the COVID pandemic officially ended. 

With the funding, Trimline will be able to take on two additional large-scale projects over the next 12 months involving around 400 individual contractors and 40-50 other UK-based companies. Without the funding, it may have had to turn those contracts down and potentially lose them to overseas competition. 

Trimline delivers large-scale refurbishment and outfitting of cruise ships and ferries for operators around the world, including Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Carnival Corporation, and Holland America Line. It delivers an end-to-end service, either producing bespoke designs or working to existing client scopes which are then delivered by its team of over 500 contractors. 

Marine refurbishment and maintenance projects can incur big initial outlays for outfitters like Trimline, which have to procure materials and services in advance but may not be paid in full until project completion. Backed by UKEF, the new Lloyds Bank financing helps Trimline to bridge this gap, finance a range of contracts and grow their customer base by taking on new clients and projects. 

With the funding in place, Trimline can more easily meet seasonal surges in demand – especially during the winter season, when more cruise ships undergo refurbishment.  

The announcement exemplifies the value UKEF brings to specialist businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) around the UK, enabling them to continue standing shoulder-to-shoulder with competitors on the world stage. 85% of the companies which UKEF supported in 2022-23 were SMEs like Trimline – and under new plans published in April, the export credit agency is now aiming to support up to 1,000 SMEs a year by 2029.

Nick Farrell, Co-Owner at Trimline, said: 

The pandemic was a huge challenge, with travel restrictions grinding everything to a halt and the cruise-line customers we work for stopping all projects overnight. The work is now increasing again, and Trimline is almost back to its pre-pandemic levels. However, with our very strong growth (20-30% year over year), and the subsequent demand on cash, we needed support to enable us to take advantage of these new opportunities. The backing from UKEF enables us to do just that, rather than lose ground to overseas competitors.

Richard Armstrong, UKEF Export Finance Manager for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said:  

The challenges posed by payment-upon-delivery and seasonal demand are a daily reality for many exporters – but they do not need to face these alone. Working with lenders like Lloyds Bank, UKEF can help businesses such as Trimline to find the right financing and continue bringing their market-leading export to a large and growing global clientele.

Colin Walls, Regional Trade and Working Capital Director at Lloyds Bank, added: 

We are delighted to provide this new financing package for Trimline enabled by our partnership with UKEF. Supporting the Group’s wider strategy, trade finance allows us to provide bespoke funding solutions that fit alongside the unique cashflow of a business like Trimline. The £1 million facility will help them continue on their growth trajectory, and we look forward to seeing the success that Nick and the team will have in 2024 and beyond.

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