West One Loans has arranged a short-term secured loan to support the development of the Dominic Matteo Football Academy.
The Academy will provide keen secondary school football players the chance to be coached by former Liverpool defender and Leeds United captain Dominic Matteo at a variety of locations in Leeds.
Matteo is already coaching 80 promising youngsters and expects the Academy to be running at full capacity by July, when it will offer up to 100 places on its summer football courses.
After being turned down by mainstream banks, Matteo turned to alternative finance for a lifeline and was able to arrange a privately funded loan via West One Loans’ peer-to-peer lending scheme and introducer Intelligent Loans.
Duncan Kreeger, director at West One Loans, said: “Every week we see reports that businesses are struggling for mainstream finance. This example makes things all the more real. It’s a shocking example of a solid business plan that was simply rejected by mainstream lenders.
“But now, peer-to-peer finance has enabled an economically sound business to get off the ground. It’s an uplifting business that will really benefit the local community.”
Matteo said: “Projects like this are a great way for sportspeople to get involved with the next generation. Hundreds of kids are going to get a chance to stretch their game to another level. But we all need the right equipment to play at the top of our game. With busy school schedules – and the British weather – that means indoor facilities are vital for quality coaching. We need to offer a year round facility, with all the right equipment.
“However, just like so many small businesses, we were turned away by the mainstream banks. No business can get started without basic finance. Now, with this loan, I can really look forward to doing what I do best and, as an academy, offering a seriously competitive package. We’ve already got 80 really promising youngsters signed up, and the few remaining spaces are really filling up fast.”