LOANS worth more than £1 million have been delivered from the South West Microcredit Fund to businesses across the South West that have been unable to access all of the finance they require from the usual sources.

The Microcredit fund, which is managed and delivered by the South West Investment Group (SWIG) was launched in 2010 through the Competitiveness European Regional Development Fund. It is aimed at start up and existing businesses in selected urban areas across the South West and can provide loans of up to £7,500.

To date the fund has supported more than 180 businesses across the region including Torquay business, Bay Cycles.

The bike shop based on Foxlands Walk, St Marychurch was opened in November 2013 by keen cyclists Lisa Gubby and her partner Jeremy Barker who successfully applied for a £7,500 loan from the fund following a decline for finance from the bank.

Offering customers a comprehensive line of cycling products both online as well as in the store, Bay Cycles plans to capitalise on the growing cycle market in the UK.

Ms Gubby said: “Bay Cycles is all about inspiring people and supporting people to get out on their bikes and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle that it brings.

“As well as selling bikes and accessories, plus carrying out repairs and bike fittings we also run weekly rides every Saturday morning with refreshments for the participants.”

Ms Gubby, 42, a part time A&E nurse works predominantly on the sales and marketing for the business while Mr Barker, 41, works in the shop full time providing customer service and bike repairs with both working together to provide professional bike fitting consultations.

Ms Gubby said: “My partner, Jeremy had been working in a bike shop since he was a lad and we felt with his experience we could really offer a great service of our own. We really wanted to run our own business so we signed up for business enterprise courses with Outset Torbay who introduced us to SWIG.

“Without SWIG we would never have got Bay Cycles off the ground.”

Fund manager for the South West Microcredit Fund at SWIG, Chris Burt was impressed with the quality of the application from Bay Cycles.

“It was clear that Lisa and Jeremy had the knowledge, experience and commitment to make this venture a success and I was pleased to approve the application from Bay Cycles as this enabled them to access further funding via the Fredericks Foundation.

“Bay Cycles is a fantastic business and we wish them every success in the future.”

This article originally appeared in the Western Morning News