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Yorkshire events structures business secures £4million culture fund loan with help from Garbutt & Elliott

A Yorkshire company which provides temporary structures and staging for outdoor cultural and sporting events has received a £4m loan from the the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund with support from accountants and business advisers, Garbutt + Elliott.

Acorn Event Structures, Sherburn-in-Elmet, one of the UK’s leading staging and temporary structures companies, is among 2,700 cultural organisations across the country to share £300m from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help them to recover and rebuild after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Co-founded by directors, husband-and-wife team, Andy and Rebecca Nutter, Acorn Event Structures works mainly in the event, arts, film, television and sporting sectors, providing bespoke temporary structures and staging for world-class events across the UK and Ireland as well as in Europe designing, supplying and installing a wide rage of temporary structures and ancillary support services.

The business, which has 70 full-time staff and as many as 220 at the height of the events season, relied on the Government’s furlough scheme to keep most of its staff in jobs during the pandemic while directors, and a small number of office staff, maintained client relations and helped plan for events once restrictions are lifted.

The £4m Culture Recovery Fund loan will enable the business to protect jobs and build a post-Covid-19 resilience plan that will include developing new, innovative techniques for temporary structures.

Rebecca Nutter says: “In March 2020 our order book was at a record high and we were looking forward to providing staging and temporary structures for our regular clients including RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Creamfields and Frieze Art Fair.

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the event, culture, arts and heritage sectors and most of our clients are in these areas. We are grateful for the opportunity the Culture Recovery Fund has provided to help us build a sustainable and resilient future as we come out of this global pandemic.

“Our accountants, Garbutt + Elliott, have also been extremely helpful and professional in providing the necessary financial details and projections to support our application to the Culture Recovery Fund and integrate this to our business development plan.”

Garbutt + Elliott corporate finance director, Stephen Garbett, led a team including partner and head of corporate finance, Tony Farmer and corporate finance executive, Mark Jennings in providing accounting, management accounts preparation, financial forecasting and corporate finance project management for the loan.

Stephen Garbett says:

“Access to culture and sport is a huge part of millions of people’s recreational lives and is among activities that we often take for granted but that have been hugely missed during the pandemic.

“Acorn Events is among the UK market leaders in providing temporary structures for events enjoyed by millions of people and we have been pleased to work with them to secure the company’s future and protect jobs.”

More than £800m in grants and loans has already been awarded by the Culture Recovery Fund to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Garbutt + Elliott’s corporate team, incorporating its award-winning tax team, has three partners and two directors and works nationally across a broad commercial spectrum from its offices in York and Leeds.