A Birmingham Grade II listed canal-side pub has been given a new lease of life following a £140,000 loan from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
The Fiddle and Bone, based on Sheepcote Street, had been closed for 12 years before it was recently purchased by local business owner, Earle Wightman.
Mr Wightman, who also runs the dinner and boat tour company Sherborne Wharf, saw an opportunity to restore the iconic pub to its former glory, whilst linking it to his existing business by combining the boat tours with fine pub dining.
In order to purchase the pub two years ago, Mr Wightman switched banking partners to Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, which provided a £140,000 loan to support the £650,000 investment.
Since then, extensive refurbishment has taken place, including new décor and appliances installed in all areas of the two floor establishment, as well as the addition of a private room, boat moorings and facilities including showers and a laundry room for canal boaters.
Following the relaunch, Mr Wightman has created 30 new jobs working across the pub, restaurant and the new boat facilities, which include a boat chandlery and gift shop.
He said: “It’s great to finally see the finished product after five years of hard work and dedication from the team.
“The pub was previously a top destination for jazz and music lovers alike and we hope to continue that tradition for future years to come by hosting a variety of weekly music events including live bands on Thursday through Saturday evenings.
“The support we’ve received from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has been second to none.
“From the minute we switched our banking over to them, the relationship team has really got to understand our business goals and motivations - not just for The Fiddle and Bone but for all our business ventures.”
Giles Wheeler, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, added: “Sherborne Wharf is a great example of an already successful firm that has expanded into a new market and combined two complementary businesses into one overall leisure experience.
“Exploring new avenues and diversifying into different sectors is a great way for small businesses to grow.
“It can provide fantastic opportunities to evolve, tap into new customer bases and broaden a firms’ reputation and appeal.
“Working with growing businesses like Sherborne Wharf is something we are passionate about and we have a range of tailored funding packages and support services designed to help small enterprises expand even further and achieve their ambitions.”