Lancashire restaurant chain shows appetite for growth

An Italian restaurant group is set to boost turnover at its flagship restaurant by 20 per cent after expanding for the third time, with the support of a seven-figure funding package from Lloyds Bank.

A 500 sq m extension at The Italian Orchard, in Broughton, Preston, features a newly-built bar area and retractable glass roof, which will boost capacity by 50 covers a night at the popular family restaurant.

The extension was opened after six months of construction work and forms part of a sustained period of growth across the San Marco Group's property portfolio.

As a result, the group is set to hire 10 new members of staff in the coming months.

A tailored funding package

Part of the tailored funding package has also been used to revamp the previously unused top floor of Stratos, a Preston city centre restaurant also owned by San Marco Group.

The space has been converted into 17 self-contained apartments, which will be used for staff accommodation.

"The move gives us the financial strength to accelerate future planned projects."

Carlo Bragagnini, director, San Marco Group

The Italian Orchard, Preston

Carlo Bragagnini added: "Over the last four decades, San Marco has grown from one small, family-run restaurant into an established and highly regarded chain of bars and restaurants.

"When the chance to expand the existing premises at The Italian Orchard arose, we immediately recognised the potential to not only satisfy increasing demand but also to implement plans for future growth.

"They include creating a new manufacturing facility that will begin supplying fresh pasta to our restaurants later this year.

"The team at Lloyds Bank has been by our side throughout the process, providing the guidance we needed to plan and deliver these ambitious projects simultaneously."

"The San Marco Group is an example of a dynamic business that refuses to stand still."

Garry Birchall, relationship director, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

Backing brands with ambition

Gary Birchall added: "Thanks to the ambition and drive of the Bragagnini family and its management team, the restaurant has cultivated a popular brand that will ensure it continues to prosper with each new venture.

"We're proud to provide the tailored funding that firms like the San Marco Group need as part of our plan to Help Britain Prosper, which is why we've pledged to provide £1.3billion to businesses in the North West this year."

All lending is subject to status.

Important legal information

Calls may be monitored or recorded in case we need to check we have carried out your instructions correctly and to help improve our quality of service.

Lloyds Bank plc Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065. Telephone: 0207 626 1500.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under Registration Number 119278.

Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Please note that due to FSCS and FOS eligibility criteria not all business customers will be covered.

Lloyds Banking Group includes companies using brands including Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland and their associated companies. More information on Lloyds Banking Group can be found at www.lloydsbankinggroup.com