Back to stories
HomeStoriesBodmin Jail

Bodmin Jail

Martin Lyall, General Manager at Bodmin Jail, has the ambition to grow Cornwall’s most haunted hotspot to be the top scare attraction in the South West. Plans to create a Courtroom Experience and a hotel as a part of the venue are underway, with support from Oxford Innovation’s Access to Finance programme.

After being referred to Access to Finance Martin has worked with both Jackie George and Chris Oliver to secure a BIG2 grant of £102,150 and is in the process of applying for a £170k RDPE grant, to be used alongside a loan of £5m+ to implement the planned developments.

The team at Access to Finance have clearly helped many business owners with funding applications, so they’re well versed in the language used when applying for finance. I had support from Jackie George with the applications and forecasting and help from Chris Oliver with the numbers. Their support has given us a timetable and structure to work to and has enabled us to focus on getting the applications right and being successful. There’s lots to focus on when running a business, but the team at Access to Finance ensure your application is a priority and having that push can make all the difference.
Martin Lyall
General Manager, Bodmin Jail

Like all business finance applications, forecasting the growth of the business that the funding will achieve is a priority, and this is something the Access to Finance team has supported with alongside the application process.

The new Courtroom Experience addition to the facility will include audio and visual technology; with this addition alongside the hotel, the business is projected to grow annual visitor numbers by over 200%, subsequently growing the team to handle footfall and increasing revenue as a result.

At my first meeting with Martin and Chris, we talked about the development plans for the jail over the coming years. I was able to use my knowledge of the local and national grant funding programmes to come up with a funding proposal which would suit their business requirements.
Hopefully I was able to demystify the grant application process which led to a successful outcome with one funder and a developing application for another. Alongside the grant support I’ve given them, they have also made use of the financial forecasting specialism we have within the team.

Jackie George
Business Finance Specialist, Access to Finance

I recommend any business owner to make use of the Access to Finance programme. There’s no cost to the business (other than time) so there’s no risk attached. They provide structure and prioritisation as well as support with forecasting and finance applications.
Martin Lyall
General Manager, Bodmin Jail