Alfa Leisureplex Group has secured a £17 million credit facility, including a £5 million Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme loan from Lloyds Bank.

The company, which owns 48 coaches and 22 seaside hotels, takes 115,000 people on holiday every year through its Alfa Travel brand.

It  is now looking to the future and hopes to put on a new range of 2021 weekend coach breaks, having paused operations as the impact of the coronavirus became apparent.

The additional financing comes after the company secured a £1.9 million overdraft extension at the end of March within 48 hours of applying.

Fellow coach operator Shearings ceased trading last month as its parent company Specialist Leisure Group went into administration.

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Managing director Emma Russell said: “Over the past few weeks we’ve worked with Lloyds Bank on a broader package of support. The new facility means that we haven’t had to make difficult decisions in relation to our staff and our customers. We’ve been able to use this period of closure to design and shape our future holiday experiences. We will be introducing a new range of weekend short coach breaks in 2021 incorporating ‘must see’ events across the UK. We’ll also be adding more pick up points as we recognise that more people may choose to holiday closer to home in the future.

“Whilst we are waiting to resume operations, we have been working on our plans to safeguard our customers and teams when we re-open, so that our guests can continue to enjoy our holidays and service, knowing that their safety is our priority.”

The £43 million turnover business, based in Chorley, Lancashire, is 75% owned by its 710 employees, who each receive an equal share of the company’s profits.

Russell added: “The word most used to describe the business in our recent employee survey was ‘family’ and our customers are also an integral part of our Alfa Leisureplex family. We are really looking forward to being able to open again later in the year and welcome our customers back on board.

“A lot of our customers are over 50 and we wanted to make sure that they could stay connected during these times, so we have established a community group on Facebook where people can share happy memories of their holidays and have conversations with like-minded people.

“When we closed in March we had no choice other than to put a large proportion of our team on furlough and we are looking forward to welcoming our teams back to work. Being employee-owned has really shaped the culture of our business and many of our employee owners are missing being at work.”

The company has been offering customers whose holidays have been cancelled the option of postponing their trip to a later date, getting a credit note valid until the end of 2022 or a full refund.