British designer brand eyes international expansion with £2 million funding package

  • Cheltenham-based Cotswold Collections has secured £2 million funding package from Santander UK
  • Funding will be used to invest marketing and to assist with establishing the brand  in new territories across US and Europe
  • The funding should assist with up to 15 new jobs opportunities across the next three years

British designer and clothing brand Cotswold Collections has set its sights on international expansion following £2 million in funding from Santander UK.

The growth capital funding package will see the Cheltenham-based designer women’s clothing brand extend its investment in marketing across the UK as well as support growth in markets outside the UK, exporting the traditional British clothing range across Europe and the US.  It is expected this growth will create up to 15 new jobs within the business across the next three years.

Cotswold Collections, which was founded in 1993 and completed an MBO in 2017 financed by Rockpool Investments, designs and sells mature women’s clothing and accessories, and has increased revenues and profitability by investing in marketing through catalogue and online sales in recent years. New research(1) shows that more than half (54%) of over-65s had shopped online compared to just one in five a decade ago.  The brand aims to reach a wider customer base as the number of ‘silver surfers’ continues to rise in the UK and abroad.

Tom Brown, Finance Director at Cotswold Collections said: “Santander has demonstrated a genuine interest and understanding of the SME business market through their engagement and involvement with our business and growth plans.  This helped us and Rockpool in selecting them as partner of choice to support us with our existing UK business and new territory international growth strategy.”

Peter Abel, Director Growth Capital at Santander UK added: “We have been working with Cotswold Collections over the last year developing our knowledge and understanding of the business and its growth plans.  During this time, we have been impressed with its defined and unique proposition, targeted customer audience and its grasp of the new market growth opportunities. We look forward to supporting the business and its future ambitions.”

Richard Morrison, Investment Manager Rockpool Investments LLP, added: “We supported the Management team with their MBO in 2017 and have seen the business continue to grow over the period since.  We welcome the additional investment and experience of the Santander team to assist with the continued expansion plans.”

Cotswold Collections works with heritage mills and small family-run businesses for exceptional craftsmanship and quality. They carefully source premium fabrics from around the world and manufacture more than half its garments in Britain.

The finance was provided by Santander’s structured finance growth capital team.  The finance is a type of investment provided in order to support SME businesses with growth plans or expand into new products and markets. 

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Notes to Editors 
1) Research published by ONS: Internet access – households and individuals, Great Britain: 2019.

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 30 June 2019, the bank has around 24,000 employees.  It serves around 15 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking; and 62 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

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