Mike Wall, Finance Cornwall Business Loan Fund manager (right) and Luke Rogers aboard Luke's Cygnus 21 fishing boat

A young fisherman from mid Cornwall is following his dreams of earning a living from the sea after setting sail on a new business venture with the help of Finance Cornwall. Luke Rogers, 23, from Coverack, had worked in the fishing industry since he left school, but left to take on a new career as a gardener when it looked like he would never be able to own his own boat.

Now, with the help of Finance Cornwall and match funding from Lloyds TSB, Luke has invested £20,000 in a Cygnus 21 fishing boat. He has kitted out his vessel with everything he needs to fish for monkfish and dover sole, which he sells through local fish merchants W. Stevenson and Sons of Newlyn.

Luke said: "When I decided to set up my own fishing business I approached a high street lender for a loan, but my lack of a proven track record in business meant that they couldn't help me. I was pointed in the direction of the Business School at Truro College where I was given a mentor, Richard Simeon, who helped me to draw up a business plan and put me in touch with Finance Cornwall. They are used to supporting start-up businesses and without the help of Finance Cornwall I wouldn't have been able to secure the investment package I needed to set up on my own." Luke is now studying for a skipper's qualification too, so he can take members of the public out on the boat for fishing daytrips.

Mike Wall, Finance Cornwall Business Loan Fund manager said: "Luke Rogers is a driven young man who is committed to working in the fishing industry that he has grown up in, which is why we were pleased to be able to help him. Although Luke did not have any experience of running his own business it is evident that he is committed to making a real go of it, which is why in addition to the loan investment Finance Cornwall has also provided some help towards the cost of business mentoring, which should make a real difference towards helping Luke to steer the right course for the future success of his business."

For further information please contact Jason Clark of Deborah Clark & Associates Ltd on 01872 276276 or 07980 834368.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Finance Cornwall project through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


Editors notes:

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

Finance Cornwall's funds are administered by Finance Cornwall Fund Managers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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For more information contact

Jason Clark
Deborah Clark & Associates

Luke Rogers
01326 280626
07974 463543

Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439