Somerford Mini Limited, an international supplier and restorer of MINIs based in Calne, Wiltshire, has secured a finance package from HSBC UK to revamp its website and modernise the business.
Founded by Peter Hines in 1990, Somerford Mini Ltd is using the funding to update the design of its existing website and to purchase new software which will mean it can be optimised for different platforms and translated into five languages and currencies. The new online functions are expected to increase turnover by 10 per cent.
The business has also just hired its ninth employee and expects to continue growing the team over the next six months as the firm expands its online services.
Peter said: “Having been a MINI enthusiast since I can remember, it was always a dream of mine to own a company which meant I could work with the iconic cars every day. In these digital times, it’s so important for a company like mine to have a strong online presence and a website that’s easy to use, encouraging more sales and a better reputation.”
David Butler, Area Director for Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire at HSBC UK, said:“Peter is very passionate about MINIs and it was this passion that helped him build his business, single-handedly – and from a very modest start. HSBC UK is committed to supporting British businesses and Somerford Mini is no exception. We look forward to seeing Peter’s business continue to flourish as it becomes more digitalised.”
Peter established Somerford Mini in 1990 as a hobby, but his hobby soon developed into a career. Using a grant from the Princes Youth Trust, he started the business on a farm, collecting classic MINI parts. Twenty-nine years later, Peter’s business has grown into an international supplier of MINI parts, as well as being able to repair and restore classic MINIs from scratch.
Somerford Mini Limited is one of the top sponsors for the International MINI Meeting 2019 happening in Bristol to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the MINI. 20,000 people will be flying from all over the world to celebrate the event.
The funding from HSBC UK comes after Peter secured a six-figure finance facility in 2015 to relocate the business to new premises. This recent deal is part of HSBC UK’s £550 million lending fund to support small and medium-sized (SMEs) enterprises in Bristol.