IMPORTANT - Up-Front Payment and Advanced Fee Fraud

Up-Front Payment and Advanced Fee Fraud

Business Loans Scotland is aware of an Advanced Fee Fraud using our name or initials “BLS”. This Fraud induces individuals into believing they are applying for a fast loan but before an individual receives the loan they are told they must pay an upfront fee. Once the fee is paid, the victim does not hear from the company again and the loan is never received.
Business Loans Scotland does not ask a Borrower for any fees up-front and any promise of this type of loan requiring an up-front fee is a CON.
If a fraud has been committed, please report it immediately to the Police.


Making Waves in East Kilbride

A South Lanarkshire couple are making a splash in East Kilbride after securing the first ever £100,000 award from a new business loans scheme with the help of South Lanarkshire Council.

Funding from Business Loans Scotland gave Tom and Nicola Mitchell the support they needed to realise their dream of a purpose built swimming pool as a permanent home for their swim teaching business, Making Waves.

The 25 metre pool in the new town’s Playsport complex has harnessed a wide range of innovative new technologies that aimed at giving users a great experience and helping to protect the environment.

Tom said; “We have spent 14 years building up our business and it has been a labour of love. Teaching swimming gives children confidence, exercise, fun and can even save their lives. We felt the time was right to take it to the next level and this purpose built pool has been designed from the ground up to meet the specific requirements of what we do.”

Nicola said; “We installed an innovative filtration system which means we use less chemicals and the water is gentler on sensitive skin, Making Waves is the first pool in Scotland to use this DAISY technology. We also have a heat exchange system so warm air being taken out by the air conditioning actually heats the pool water. It has been a lot of work but having this full-time base is incredible. It has also enabled us to create 12 fulltime jobs in East Kilbride.”

Business Loans Scotland is backed by a consortium of all 32 Scottish local authorities and can provide loans of up to £100,000 to new and growing small to medium sized businesses across Scotland. Making Waves was the first business to receive the maximum loan.

Chair of South Lanarkshire Council Community and Enterprise Resources Councillor John Anderson said; “It is great to see a company like Making Waves growing and creating new jobs here in South Lanarkshire, our Business Support team played an important part in helping guide Tom and Nicola through the process of securing this loan to make their vision for Making Waves become reality.”

Tom said; “We are very grateful for the support from the Council and, of course, Business Loans Scotland. The new pool has allowed us expand the business, so in addition to lessons for children of all ages we can now offer a year-round service and innovate with ideas such as toddler swimming and adult training.

To enquire about Making Waves swimming lessons phone 0141 530 8007 or email

Tom and Nicola are Making Waves in East Kilbride

Moray boat manufacturer receives £50,000 from government initiative to support businesses in Scotland

Business Loans Scotland has granted Buckie based ProBond Marine Ltd, manufacturer of Carson Rigid Inflatable Boats, a £50,000 loan. The funds will assist the company in completing the production of its newest model, featuring world firsts for its technology and hull design. It will also enable ProBond Marine Ltd to gear up to sell within the UK and export around the world.


Business Loans Scotland is a consortium of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, providing loan finance of up to £100,000 to new and growing small and medium sized businesses across Scotland.


Colin MacAndrew, 35, founder of ProBond Marine, has enjoyed sailing since childhood in his hometown of Elgin. Aspiring to run his own business and move on from the oil industry, 23 months ago he launched his own company, initially operating out of his parent’s garage. Last September he secured premises in Buckie when Barry Carson, the creator of Carson Rigid Inflatable Boats, came onboard.


The new partnership saw ProBond Marine take on the task of manufacturing Carson Rigid Inflatable Boats with a vision for a new design using a world-first mould for the boat. Determined to make his vision a reality, Colin received support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, (HIE) in the form of funding, and business advice from Business Gateway in Elgin, who facilitated an introduction to Business Loans Scotland. Colin’s subsequent application to Business Loans Scotland for £50,000 was successful. 


Speaking about the difference the loan will make to ProBond Marine Ltd, Colin said: “Ultimately, without the funding from Business Loans Scotland we would have been in a sticky position, so I was very relieved when I learned we had received the funding. We tried several other organisations for financial assistance but were turned down by them all. Business Loans Scotland has allowed us to continue with our exciting plans for ProBond Marine and Carson Rigid Boats.


“Looking to the future we hope to keep growing as a business, showcasing what we have on offer at trade shows and to markets further afield such as Scandinavia and America.”


Andrew Dickson, Fund Manager  from Business Loans Scotland, added: “It is well documented that access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger. I am delighted the fund has been able to support ProBond Marine Ltd with vital working capital to get started.”


John Cowe, Chair of Moray Economic Partnership and Board Member of Business Loans Scotland, said: “This is more great news for Moray and another example of the spirit of entrepreneurship and business leadership we are seeing drive the local economy forward. I am delighted for Colin and the team.”


At the end of 2016, the Scottish Government announced a new SME holding fund to give companies access to microcredit finance of up to £25,000, loans of up to £100,000 and equity investment of up to £2 million. The holding fund will distribute European Regional Development Fund investment worth £40 million, to be matched by a total of £60 million from delivery partners, including Business Loans Scotland. Private sector funding of £150 million will also be contributed, leading to £250 million being invested in 500 firms by December 2018, creating 2,000 jobs.

Moray boat manufacturer receives £50,000 from government initiative to support businesses in Scotland.

Buy-out Success for Kilwinning Engineering Firm

A Kilwinning engineering firm has entered a new era following a successful management buy-out, backed by Business Loans Scotland and Team North Ayrshire.


John Murphy, former General Manager at William Engineering, is now the proud owner of new firm, Murphy Engineering (Scotland) Ltd, based in Kilwinning’s Nethermains Industrial Estate.  


Murphy Engineering came to fruition earlier this year to facilitate the buy-out process of William Engineering following the retirement of owner, Maureen Harrison.


And on Friday, the new business welcomed Council Leader Joe Cullinane and members of the Council’s Business Growth Team to mark the beginning of its next chapter.


Established in 2007, William Engineering had been providing a complete specialist metal engineering service - from design to manufacturing. The business developed a first-class reputation in the manufacturing of stainless steel products for many clients including shop fitters, retailers, manufacturers, food producers and local authorities - to name only a few.  


For the last 10 years, John Murphy had been successfully running all of the day-to-day operations, building up an impressive reputation for delivering high quality products on time and to tight specifications.


But with the news earlier this year of Maureen’s plans to step down, fears were raised over the future of the business and its 12 employees.


John Murphy decided to take matters into his own hands and began exploring opportunities for a management buy-out. 


John approached Team North Ayrshire – the public, private and third sector partnership offering a single point of contact for business support within North Ayrshire. Team North Ayrshire worked with John to successfully secure financial assistance from Business Loans Scotland to aid his ambitious plans. 


The buy-out process of William Engineering was officially completed in June 2017 and marks the first ever buy-out assisted by Business Loans Scotland. John then transferred its assets over to his new firm, Murphy Engineering, to start a new chapter for the business.


North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been able to assist John with his bold and ambitious plans. Thanks to his determination it has allowed a successful firm to remain in business here in North Ayrshire and ensured job security for its hard-working employees.


“From meeting John and his team last week, it’s clear they all share his enthusiasm and passion for the future growth of the business.


“We will continue to work alongside them to ensure their growth ambitions are realised.”


John is currently working with Team North Ayrshire to develop plans for the future, including succession planning which will allow his son, a second year apprentice, to progress onto a graduate level apprenticeship - and maybe one day take over from his dad. 


John has also been identified for a mentoring programme, delivered through the Ayrshire Chamber, which will build his leadership skills and members of his team are also going through further development training.


John Murphy, Managing Director of Murphy Engineering, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the support and help given to me by RJ Hart Accountants, Team North Ayrshire and Business Loans Scotland. I can’t thank them enough for their hard work in ensuring my management buyout was a success. 


“I look forward to many more years providing a top quality service to all of our current customers and new customers going forward. I will, at every endeavour, put forth my utmost to make this new company a great success for all involved.” 


Andrew Dickson, Fund Manager from Business Loans Scotland, added: “It is well documented that access to capital remains a major hurdle to many small and medium sized businesses which are looking to start up and grow. Often, our funding can make the difference between a business struggling or flourishing and that in turn will have a positive impact on employment, profitability and making communities stronger. I am delighted the Fund has been able to support Murphy engineering complete their management buyout and safeguard 12 jobs.”

Buy Out Success for Kilwinning Engineering Firm

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