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A financial advisory firm in Barrow has expanded its commercial premises and rejuvenated one of the town’s most iconic buildings thanks to a unique partnership with Preston-based pension specialists, Taylor Patterson.
South Cumbria Financial Services has been providing bespoke, independent financial advice for over 20 years, and in 2000, the firm’s founders became IFA Partners with the aim of realigning the business’ focus on responsive service and advice. One of the firm’s key aims was to spend more time with their clients face-to-face, but unfortunately, their offices at the time were not very accommodating and they began looking for suitable alternatives.
The company knew that a Group SIPP pension fund would allow them to purchase property as a commercial interest, but directors Graham Dacre, Nigel Williamson, Lee Neatis, David Armstrong, Ian Frazer knew they were not just looking for any pension provider:
Graham explains: “It was clear to us that a pension provider at the other end of the country wouldn’t be able to provide us with the same level of service, and it was very important to us that whoever we worked with could provide efficient communication and regular contact.
“We began looking for providers closer to home and discovered Taylor Patterson’s Group SIPP, which was clearly the most attractive proposition for our needs at the time.”
Graham got in touch with Taylor Patterson, and by sheer coincidence, his call was taken by former Barrow resident and SIPP and SSAS property manager, Jeremy Hunt.
Jeremy said: “I know Barrow very well and was pleased to hear of their plans to rejuvenate the four-storey Victorian building on Duke Street.
“SIPP pensions are a tax efficient vehicle to buy commercial property, and using the Taylor Patterson Group SIPP allowed South Cumbria Financial Services to purchase the property and let out the other floors, which also provides the SIPP trustees with additional rental income.”
Despite the initial investment, it was not long before the directors realised that there was still a lot of work to be done to make their new premises fit for function.
Jeremy added: “One of our biggest challenges was the age of the building itself, as older buildings usually require more funding to convert. As existing cash flow soon began to dry up, the SIPP trustees were in need of more money to finish the project.
“We discussed a number of options with them and discounted borrowing from the bank as they were keen to avoid unnecessary debt wherever possible. The solution was to introduce more members to the Group SIPP, which provided extra capital using the transfer values of previous pension funds.”
With the project complete, South Cumbria Financial Services now operates out of much larger, modern premises and the SIPP trustees rent out the other floors to investment tenants. The ground floor has even been leased by a wine bar and restaurant, adding to the small town’s dining offer.
“We still provide ongoing support and advice for the SIPP trustees,” Jeremy adds, “and it’s great to see how the building has changed every time we attend a meeting.”
Graham and his fellow directors believe that Taylor Patterson’s support has been invaluable to help their business grow, both physically and in terms of the services they can offer.
He said: “Our new offices provide the perfect environment for one-to-one meetings with our clients, and it’s so far removed from the previous premises we were in.
“Jeremy and the team at Taylor Patterson have been a pleasure to work with and their guidance has been invaluable.”
For more information on Group SIPP arrangements contact Jeremy Hunt on 01772 550781 or email Jeremy.Hunt@taypat.co.uk.