First Enterprise help Northamptonshire friends launch glamping business

Lara and Jenny with Sukhveer Chirrimar from First Enterprise

A mutual love of camping and the great outdoors has seen two Northamptonshire friends launch their own rustic luxury glamping business, with help from First Enterprise.

Lara Collis and Jenny Lyon, both aged 27, have set up Country Bumpkin Yurts at Waterloo Cottage Farm in Great Oxendon.

Lyon, co-owner of Country Bumpkin Yurts, said: “We started the process of setting the business up around 18 months ago.

“Lara and I were sat in a café and were talking about how much we enjoyed camping and would love to start our own business.

“I think that’s when we both realised we could make Country Bumpkin Yurts a reality.”

First Enterprise provided £45,000in  funding through its Enterprise Loans East Midlands (ELEM) to help Country Bumpkin Yurts set up – £20,000 of the loan was via Start-Up Loans.

The glamping site is eco-friendly and has features like solar panels – which power electricity in the yurts – a log burner, a wood fired hot tub, and composting toilets. Country Bumpkin Yurts also does upcycling projects.

Collis added: “You can’t love being in the countryside without wanting to look after it. Our dream was to create a business that cared about nature and sustainability.

“We are so proud to have the business up and running. There is still a few final touches to make and we need to get the onsite café constructed but we are so excited for the future.”

Sukhveer Chirrimar, loan fund advisor at First Enterprise, said: “We have noticed that the demand for staycations has risen significantly in the UK and especially with people tightening up budgets among the uncertainty of BREXIT.

“In the last few months alone we have supported three glamping businesses. Lara and Jenny’s business idea is fantastic and something we were keen to support them with.”