Loan provides extra security for Senate Training

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A Government-backed loan will provide extra security for a family-run firm which has been hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Alsager-based Senate Training was set-up 20 years ago by husband and wife team Paul and Janet Keeling to provide bespoke training, risk consultancy and security for businesses across the UK and abroad.

Today the business designs and develops bespoke training courses for companies across a variety of sectors – including construction, security, catering and hospitality as well as emergency incident management and business continuity.

It also provides risk consultancy services to protect businesses against crime, protests and terrorism.

Senate operates from a purpose-built training facility at Senate House, in Crewe Road, which doubles up as a global security operations centre for 24-hour CCTV monitoring and alarm receiving for large premises such as corporate buildings, privately-owned city centre areas and shopping centres.

Now funding from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) – backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – is helping to ensure the company’s 15 members of staff are still working and that the operations centre can remain open – so clients’ CCTV is still under surveillance.

It will also support the company’s efforts to diversify its offering to including online training as it looks to develop ‘virtual classrooms.’

It comes as the Government-imposed lockdown forced the training and consultancy arm of the business to come to a halt for the forseeable future.

Paul Keeling, CEO at Senate Training, said: “Our business has been adversely impacted by the crisis, with the current lockdown measures meaning that two significant revenue streams have suddenly dried up. However, we still have a duty of care to protect our clients from existing and evolving threats, so it was imperative that our security operations centre continued to operate on a 24/7 basis.

“This will help us to navigate this extremely challenging period, and support innovation in terms of the design and launch of a portfolio of digital learning products.”

Senate Training secured the loan through specialist social impact lender GC Business Finance (GCBF).

Matt Robinson, fund manager at GC Business Finance, said: “Senate Training is a reputable business with impressive scale, and we are proud to support Paul and his team at a time of dire need. GC Business Finance is committed to helping companies in the North West that have felt the impact of the coronavirus, and we would encourage business owners to consider applying for funding if they require financial support during these unprecedented times.”

Sue Barnard, senior manager at British Business Bank added: “In the current climate, it is essential that funds are deployed as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure the safety of so many impacted businesses. It’s encouraging to see GC Business Finance complete yet another NPIF loan backed by CBILS, and we hope this funding will make a huge difference to Senate Training in these difficult times.”

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