How Triple Point helped Location One run the show

Triple Point's Direct Lending team are proud to have supported Location One with funding of £1.5m, enabling the show to go on. 

When Covid-19 hit, the film industry shut down almost overnight. The number of movies being released in theatres declined 66% in 2020 and global movie theatre attendance hit a low of 240m (compared with well over 1bn for the last few decades). However, the enormous surge in streaming during the pandemic demonstrated that the public’s appetite for film and TV had in no way waned.

Location One (L1) specialises in rental equipment for the UK film and TV industry. Founder Crispin Hardy had been a location manager, responsible for everything from providing clean water through to power generators – essentially making a filming site a “mini-village”.

Back in 2006 Crispin identified a significantly fragmented market in which location managers had to source products from a variety of different companies, none of whom were specifically catering for the film and TV market. Crispin realised that having everything in one place was a far more sustainable way of sourcing products. The film production industry produces significant emissions and, according to the BFI (British Film Institute) “requires systemic change to reach net zero carbon emissions and to be environmentally sustainable”.

The BFI’s Screen New Deal: a route map to sustainable film production focuses on five key areas, including production materials, energy and water use, studio buildings and facilities, studio sites and locations, and production planning as ways to improve the industry’s sustainability.

Crispin founded L1 with two water bowsers stored in his garage. At first, he relied on industry contacts to rent them to location managers, but the business quickly grew, and the company moved to more formal premises in Deptford in 2008.

In 2019 TP provided £3.5m of funding for a management buyout, which saw new incoming board members but retained Crispin in the business. Trading was good and the business grew.

Now based in Barking and with six branches, L1 provides a range of equipment to the film and TV industry, including tower lighting, traffic lights, ground guards and furniture. The company also offers on-site support and general maintenance.

In March 2020 Covid-19 meant that filming locations were closed for at least four months. During this time, Triple Point (TP) maintained regular contact with the business and supported it with £1.5m of lending following its approval for the CBILS via the British Business Bank. The team was impressed by the business success story and the strength of the management team. The ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) impacts aligned with TP’s own ethos and felt like a natural fit. TP was also confident that the industry would see a recovery.

The 10-strong TP Direct Lending team, has lent more than £225m to UK businesses in just over four years, specialising in getting to know management and forming long-lasting relationships with clients. The team is focused on those UK businesses who fall into the “missing middle” between traditional banks and smaller financial institutions.

“The openness and transparency of our relationship with Triple Point has meant that we were able to work collaboratively with them to see the business through this very tricky period,” says Crispin, “The money meant we had far fewer concerns about staffing and survival and could instead focus on taking the business to the next level.”

“The Direct Lending team is focused on supporting our existing client book and continuing to identify excellent management teams that we can back with flexible funding solutions,” says Matt Holloway, Head of Business Development. L1 operates on 100% renewable energy supplies, recycles its waste, promotes sustainable behaviour among its staff and supplies low carbon products, such as battery tower lights and battery stores. This sustainability is key to the TP partnership, “We like to help to maximise the growth potential of companies that have a positive impact on communities and the UK economy,” says Matt.

As the drive for content from streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple, grows, the business has been able to bounce back even stronger than expected. “We’re in a stronger position than we anticipated,” says Crispin, “and we’re looking forward to making great plans for the future of the business.”

Triple Point's Leasing and Lending businesses are well-capitalized, well resourced, and liquid. The team remains committed to helping borrowers find their way through challenging times and enabling them to maximise their growth potential. Find out more here.