A £250,000 all-weather play barn at a family farm attraction in Tanworth in Arden near Solihull has helped boost visitors to 80,000 a year and turnover by 40 per cent since it opened in July 2018.
Umberslade Farm Park, established in 1988, is a family-owned business offering children of all ages a range of farm-based activities to enjoy, from play areas to interacting with the animals at the working farm.
The business recognised the need to improve indoor facilities for children visiting the farm to ensure they have an enjoyable experience that was not weather-dependent.
The family secured a £250,000 loan to support the purchase of a new, fully-insulated indoor play barn, complete with classrooms on a mezzanine, a modern toilet block and baby changing rooms, thanks to a funding package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
It was commissioned by TouchWood Play, a playground equipment supplier that creates innovative, highly-engineered natural playgrounds for clients such as National Trust and the Chelsea Flower Show.
The family is planning to recruit two new members of staff to help meet the increasing demand.
Oliver Muntz, director at Umberslade Farm Park, the seventh generation of the family on the Estate, said: “The new indoor play barn is a great addition to the farm and means our indoor facilities are now just as strong as our outdoor offering. As Umberslade Farm Park is family-owned, it’s vital to continue investing in the farm’s development and growth to ensure the next generation can continue our successful legacy.
“Lloyds Bank’s expertise and strong understanding of our business has been invaluable, and the team were incredibly helpful throughout the funding process. We’re always looking for the next project to take the farm to greater heights and we look forward to continuing to work with Lloyds Bank.”
The Muntz family have owned the Umberslade Estate since 1857. It was first opened by Jane Muntz-Torres, Oliver’s Aunt. In the first year of opening they had around 3,000 visitors The park has seen a year on year increase of 10,000 visitors.
Umberslade Farm’s funding package forms part of Lloyds Bank’s pledge to lend up to £2.5 billion to Midlands businesses this year.
Noshad Khowaja, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The farm’s success and continued focus on investment demonstrates its ambition for the future and sets the bar for similar enterprises in the West Midlands.”