Chester flooring firm lays groundwork for UK hospitals

A North West flooring specialist is playing a crucial role in the construction of temporary hospitals around the country.


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Read time: 5 mins      Added: 08/05/2020

Chester-based William Lea Ltd specialises in floor screeding; the process of laying a smooth, level base that supports a final layer of flooring such as carpet or tile.

The firm has already helped to transform the Manchester Central Convention Centre into the new NHS Nightingale Hospital North West. The temporary hospital is part of the NHS mobilisation plan to deal with the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

With construction starting on the emergency building at the end of March, William Lea was brought in as a specialist installer of fast drying Retanol screeds to carry out a week's worth of work in just 48 hours. The firm now hopes to secure further works at similar sites.

Challenging times

Lloyds Bank is supporting William Lea, which employs 23 members of staff, throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Having banked with them since 2003, Lloyds Bank has provided the firm with a six-figure Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) to support the working capital needs of the business.

"The last few months have been a very difficult time for the company. Many of the sites we had been working on have now been shut down."

Colin Jones, Director of William Lea Ltd

Colin went on to say that: “What we have had is the opportunity to work on the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West, helping to transform the existing space within days. We may also be in line for securing further work of this nature in the coming weeks.

"The financial support from Lloyds Bank has been key to fulfilling these contracts. We are nothing without our team and are proud of what we do. First and foremost, this money ensures that we will be able to pay our staff wages, on current and future works during this difficult period. To keep trading in this manner would have been difficult without Lloyds Bank's help and guidance."

"The team at William Lea is supporting the NHS’ fight against coronavirus. As the number of confirmed cases has surged, so has the need for more beds. These new hospitals are therefore vital."

Paul Stout, Relationship Manager, Lloyds Bank

Paul continues: "It's a difficult period for most small businesses but there is help at hand. Working by their side, we aim to help those that have been impacted by COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme."

All lending is subject to status.

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