Case Study

Fast finance for Modular Leisure Buildings

Big orders were rolling in for Ian Alderson’s innovative outdoor building brand. To boost production, he came to Johnson Reed…

We’ve known Ian Alderson for several years, back when he was starting to build garden rooms and make a living from it. Just five years later, this had evolved to Modular Leisure Buildings – a creative take on outdoor structures, giving customers their own pod or lodges. We’d financed him periodically to ensure his bank balance was in the black, aiding his asset and equipment purchases.

These products are like nothing else many people have seen before. So we weren’t surprised to learn that the brand was gaining a flood of interest following several trade shows. Everyone from holiday parks to private customers wanted a design for themselves. But Ian couldn’t satisfy every order. Demand was outstripping his then-current build capabilities. He needed to invest quickly to match the momentum.

Johnson Reed were the obvious choice. Ian came to us with his plans in mind, and together we looked at crowdfunding – anything over £50,000 is very difficult to secure from a ‘traditional’ lender, and Modular Leisure Buildings had to gain close to £200,000 in order to meet their targets.

That’s why we landed on Funding Circle: a peer-to-peer platform for thousands of UK investors, and a certified Johnson Reed partner. The funds came thick and fast. In a week, Ian had the requisite amount in his bank account. It’s an unsecured loan, and he doesn’t pay anything back for the first five years.

Ian and his team wasted no time setting the infrastructure in place. More leisure pods could be made, which led to a continuing cycle of profitability; the loan is effectively paying for itself.

The last 18 months have been a period of incredible growth for Modular Leisure Buildings. From those early trade shows in Coventry and Birmingham, Ian is now taking his luxury product as far as it can go. Considering the appetite for the brand, that could be very far indeed. We’ll be right there with him when he’s next looking for alternative finance.

“Without Johnson Reed’s support, it would have been difficult to expand to the level we have. It’s ensured we can meet the demand of large tenders and fulfil contracts to big names in the industries we target. I couldn’t recommend James and the Johnson Reed team enough.”

Ian Alderson