Funding helps iconic Dorset lighthouse to re-open

Portland Bill lighthouse
Portland Bill lighthouse

The local operators of a popular Dorset tourist destination have secured a £20,000 funding package from HSBC UK to ensure it can reopen once restrictions are lifted and it is safe to welcome visitors once again.

Portland Bill Lighthouse, which has been standing majestically for the past 111 years, is a hotspot for tourism in Dorset. The visitor centre and gift shop has been closed for renovation work earlier this year and was unable to re-open in March when lockdown measures were put in place resulting in an additional loss of revenue for the popular attraction.

Shortly before the coronavirus crisis hit, the business behind Portland Bill Lighthouse, Portland Bill Lighthouse Centre Ltd, acquired the visitor centre at the Lizard Lighthouse in Cornwall, which was also unable to reopen as planned on 1st April 2020.

Ann Hopkins, Director of Portland Bill Lighthouse Centre Ltd, said:

“There is never a good time for a global pandemic, but having invested so much time and money into both visitor centres at the Portland Bill and Lizard Lighthouses before having to close, we are so grateful for the funding from HSBC UK as it has enabled us to keep our business afloat during this unprecedented time.”

Tracey Smallwood, Business Specialist at HSBC UK, added:

“It goes without saying that Covid-19 has adversely affected a number of industries, including the UK’s thriving tourism sector. We are pleased to support two iconic English landmarks to ensure they can be appreciated all over again when the time is right.”

HSBC UK is working closely with the Government and UK Finance to identify emerging issues and make sure customers and businesses have the advice and support they need. For tips and advice for businesses around planning for any possible disruption, visit

The new measures build upon the package of support that HSBC UK has already announced for business customers:

•    Launched BBLS, CBILS, CLBILS and CCFF
•    Allocated £5bn to help businesses that need support
•    Removed the £100 Small Business Loan fee to relieve the pressure faced by SMEs across the country
•    Removed informal overdraft fees – As of 1st April we will no longer apply any Informal Overdraft fees
•    Offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses
•    Stopped all unauthorised overdraft charges
•    Reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer
•    Offering companies involved in the supply and manufacture of ventilators preferential pricing, extended repayment terms on loans and fast track approval times to support the unprecedented demand on UK hospitals.
•    We have also extended that support to customers that can give immediate help to essential public services and vulnerable people. We are contacting clients involved in the manufacture and supply of Personal Protective Equipment to offer preferential finance and, where possible, the direct purchase of supplies and equipment for essential public services.
•    We will also offer similar terms to clients involved in the wholesale of food.
•    Our relationship managers have been proactively contacting customers to see what help their businesses need.
•    We’ve launched a coronavirus helpline to support any customer queries and a dedicated coronavirus hub on our website.
•    For businesses trading internationally:
o    £3bn to importers and exporters that need additional support
o    pre-approved 60-day extensions on trade loans for customers with a sound trade loan/financing record
o    a one-hour turnaround on the issuance of Shipping Guarantees, enabling customers to transfer or receive goods from their counterparty faster
o    a dedicated helpline that connects directly with trade finance specialists (0800 783 1300, open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday), in addition to the support being offered by relationship managers



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