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Farm and Country Finance Customers Win Business Award

Our highly regarded customers and Yorkshire couple, Dave & Kerry Woodhead who own Pinewood Holiday Park in Scarborough are celebrating after winning a business award from Dragon’s Den Theo Paphitis.

Dave and Kerry travelled down to Birmingham to meet up with other winners for a networking event.  This was followed by a talk from Theo and then a chance to meet him.

Theo decided to host his very first SBS event, and invited every SBS winner to an event in Birmingham. This gave all winners the chance to meet one another and offer each other business advice. The event was sponsored by Ryman; one of the companies which Theo owns.

Small Business Sunday (shortened to SBS) was created by Theo about a year and a half ago, to give small businesses the chance to tell Theo, very briefly, about your business. Every Sunday he chooses his 6 favourite businesses from thousands of applicants, and then re-tweets your business to nearly a quarter of a million people, who follow Theo on Twitter.

Dave & Kerry were one of the very first winners of SBS and said “when we first heard that we were an SBS winner, it was in the early days of SBS, and we didn’t really know much about Twitter or SBS at the time, but it soon became clear, by the Tweets we were receiving from other Tweeters who follow Theo, that this was a big deal. The event was brilliant. Theo and his team from Rymans were so friendly and down to earth. The speeches were inspirational and they all made time to speak us. Theo was very entertaining, even when being bombarded with an intensive question and answer session. We are very proud to have won this award and extremely pleased to have been invited along to this event and to have the opportunity to meet Theo.”

Pinewood is a Wild West themed Holiday Park in Scarborough, and has a number of different types of accommodation; from handmade Tipis, modern Tipis, Cowboy Camping Shacks and Chuck Wagons. Couples and families can spend quality time together, staying somewhere memorable and unique. The Scarborough born couple created the ‘themed’ park over 6 years ago, and continue to add and improve the fun concept.

At the event Theo said that “he had never imagined how successful SBS had become. He believed Small businesses also have the advantage of being able to offer great customer service. No one enjoys dealing with call centres. Small businesses have an advantage over big business – they can respond, move and change so much faster. Play to this and lead the way!”

Theo has now launched a special SBS website, which has been built by one of his other SBS winners; Chris Wheeler. The main website is open for everyone to benefit from, with a section exclusively for SBS winners to log into.

Winners were also given a Ryman goody bag and a £50 credit on opening a Ryman stationery business account.

Theo is best known for this role on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, and has invested in a number of businesses from the series, some of which attended this event.

Dave & Kerry Woodhead

Pinewood Holiday Park, Racecourse Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. YO12 5TG. 01723 367278 / 07787378111

We are delighted for Dave and Kerry who thoroughly deserve their award. This is what Dave and Kerry have said about Farm and Country Finance:

‘Farm & Country Finance has helped us to fulfil one of our life long ambitions. We had always wanted to buy a caravan park, and when one in our area came up for sale, we knew we had to buy it. We just presumed our regular bank, with which we had been customers with for twenty years, would lend us the money. Our own bank wouldn’t, and neither would any other high street bank.

It was at this point that we looked at alternative ways to raise the money. We did find a number of companies that would give us a mortgage, but at huge interest rates, and also with huge fees – far too high for us to be able to pay.

We were told about a man, Mark Bracegirdle, running a company called Farm & Country Finance. Within a few days of speaking to him, and giving him some information about ourselves, he had travelled up to see us, we filled in a few simple forms, and our mortgage application was up and running.

Mark did more in a week, than any other bank or company had done for us in over a month. His straightforward way of dealing with our application, and keeping us informed, made the whole process very easy for us. Mark was full of knowledge, and dealt with our application very professionally – but also with a great sense of humour; he turned, what had been an extremely stressful experience, into a very enjoyable one. We also learnt a great deal along the way.’


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