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Air-tastic, which is part of the Funky Monkeys brand, has secured a loan from the Growth Loan Fund to open its first indoor trampoline park in Bangor, creating 30 new jobs.

Finance for the £50m Growth Loan Fund – which provides loans to established Northern Ireland SMEs seeking to access growth finance – has been provided by Invest Northern Ireland and private investor, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC).

The park opened last month and features over 35 interconnected trampolines, an obstacle course, foam pits, jump challenges, a giant airbag and café area. The company has further expansion plans, with parks set to open in Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Newtownabbey.

Mark Simpson, Director at Air-tastic commented: "The Air-tastic brand was created after considerable time spent researching the market and understanding what makes the experience more fun for our customers. We looked at many new innovative ideas and activities to see how we can make our parks more inclusive for all the family.

"We feel we have come up with a concept that is fun for all the family, no matter what age you are. We have areas for children under three to enjoy and a designated 3-4 year old playzone. We’ve been open just over a month now and the response from the general public has been fantastic."

He added: "The support of the Growth Loan Fund has been a key enabler for us to get the brand up and running. This investment means we have the capital to open further parks. Although this is the first park to open, we have identified a number of other sites across Ireland which we will be bringing the Air-tastic brand to later this year."

David McCurley, Senior Investment Manager at WhiteRock Capital Partners, commented: "Air-tastic is an exciting concept and a welcome jobs boost to the local area. This investment signals a vote of confidence by the owners in Bangor as an attractive leisure destination in which to open their first trampoline park.

"With six other sites identified across Ireland, the business has demonstrated great potential for expansion into other markets. The owners are ambitious and the company’s growth plans were an attractive proposition for investment."

WhiteRock Capital Partners LLP, which is authorised and regulated by the FCA, was established in 2012 to manage the Fund and is owned by a consortium of three partners – WhiteRock Finance Limited, NEL Fund Managers and Clarendon Fund Managers.

Companies seeking funding from the Growth Loan Fund must be based in Northern Ireland, demonstrating growth and generally be in the manufacturing, engineering or tradable services sectors. Loans will be typically unsecured and personal guarantees will not be sought.

The loans provided are expected to be complementary to existing sources of finance, including banks, trade finance sources and equity investors. Loans are provided on a fully commercial basis, with monthly loan repayments required over typically a five-year term.

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Published: 1/31/2017

Growth Loan Fund