A Volkswagen campervan hire business has launched in Oldham after its owner secured £22k in startup funding.
VW Camper GO was established by Simon Tait, a professional sports coach and development manager with Uppermill Football Club, with £12k from the Oldham Enterprise Fund and a £10k loan from Business Finance Solutions (BFS).
The firm used the five-figure cash boost to buy and transform a number of VW T4 and T5 vehicles into campervans, which will be made available to rent for holidays and trips around the UK.
VW Camper GO will also market the vans for use in weddings, school proms and other special occasions.
Founder Simon owned a VW T4 van for almost a decade, converting it in 2014 with the help of Alex Smith from Oldham-based SMS Campers. Following the successful project, Simon and Alex decided to launch VW Camper GO.
In getting the business off the ground, Simon worked with BFS partner Business Growth Hub, whose growth advisor Phil Starr helped the campervan enthusiast create a business plan and prepare a pitch to the Oldham Enterprise Fund.
Simon commented: “Having fallen completely in love with the VW Campervan lifestyle it has been fantastic to secure the finance from BFS and the Oldham Enterprise Fund to start a business that will enable other people to enjoy an incredible way of life and freedom.
“The VW Campervans really offer people the best of both worlds – you can camp at a beach with all your facilities to hand but can also drive and park in a city centre without the hassle of navigating a large motorhome.“
He continued: “Outdoor holidays are also on the up as people opt to stay in the UK and choose to explore the great British countryside and coast, and what better to do it in than an original VW Campervan?“
Alex Mearns, a loans officer with BFS, the North West delivery partner of the government’s £310m Start Up Loans programme, said: “The VW vans have huge appeal and an iconic following all over the world with everyone from young families and festival goers to design purists as well as being real conversation starters both on the road and on a campsite.
“Simon had found that the majority of vehicles available for hire are larger, modern motorhomes so there was a real opportunity here for us to help him to fund and build a business that designs, creates and hires out beautifully converted and very comfortable VW Campervans to give people a great iconic holiday experience.“