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29.07.03
Inflatable body boards come to West Cornwall

Beachgoers throughout West Cornwall will soon be able to hit the waves with a new inflatable body board that is already proving a big hit with surfers in the US and down under.

The Surfster, which was invented in Australia, is a full-size inflatable body board that rides the waves as well as a conventional board – but with the big advantage that it can be rolled up and put in a bag.

And now, thanks to investment from Finance Cornwall, the £20 million investment fund for business in or locating to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Surfster is available here. Finance Cornwall has helped put together a £125,000 investment package for Surfster Europe Ltd, a new Cornwall-based company run by business partners Jason Bone and Jeremy Price.

Jason explained: "The Surfster is a brand new product and sales have skyrocketed in the US and Australia. We now own the European distribution licence and have started to market the Surfster through trade shows in this country and Europe. We also want to market the different models through other retailers like Toys 'R' Us who we hope may be especially interested in our junior model, but to do that we need to develop the company."

The Surfster deal means Finance Cornwall will soon have helped lever £1 million of total investment into Cornish businesses. But chief executive Robin Teverson isn't complacent, and has just launched a new Succession Fund that he thinks will be of particular interest to businesses in West Cornwall.

He said: "Research has shown that West Cornwall – and Penwith in particular – has one of the highest percentages of owner-managed businesses in the country. What the Finance Cornwall Succession Fund does is provide these owners with a means of selling all or part of their business while safeguarding the future of the business in Cornwall and the future of its staff.

"The last thing an owner wants to do is sell up to an outsider who then relocates or even closes the business. They want to be sure that what they have spent a lifetime building up remains in Cornwall with people they can trust, so the business can grow and prosper. Our Succession Fund, which we have just launched in response to demand from local businesses, can help do just that."

Finance Cornwall has four investment funds offering a combination of loans and equity ranging from just £5,000 to £650,000 to small and medium sized businesses that cannot source all the funding they need from elsewhere.

Funding is available to businesses whose principal place of operation is, or will be, in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly. The funds are managed by Alliance Fund Managers Ltd, which is regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the course of investment business.

To find out more visit www.financecornwall.co.uk

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Editor's notes:

Finance Cornwall background

Finance Cornwall is a £20 million investment fund backed by £9 million from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund.

For more information contact:

Robin Teverson
Chief Executive
Finance Cornwall
01872 272288
www.financecornwall.co.uk

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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