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Council chiefs approve The Hut Group loan increase

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COUNCIL chiefs have approved an increase in a loan to The Hut Group (THG) after “extensive background checks”.

At its meeting on Monday, the Labour-led Cabinet of Council gave its approval to the council to amend the loan facility “provided against a portfolio of property assets” leased to THG.

The amendments seek to extend the period of availability of Tranche C of the current loan until 22 December 2022 and to increase the loan amounts of Tranches A, D and E by £18 million on a “fully secured” basis.

Deputy head of council Cllr Cathy Mitchell said the purpose of the loan was to help create jobs and boost the local economy.

She said the company had been “positively affected” by Covid-19 and was “growing”, as she pointed out that the trend of e-commerce had increased.

Cllr Mitchell also said that one of the purposes of the loan is to provide income, which is used to pay for services once all other loan expenses are covered.

She added that the loan is ‘brick and mortar’ secured and ‘extensive background checks were done’ as always.

The council says it has administered a successful loan scheme since 2009 to support economic regeneration in Warrington and the surrounding sub-region.

The loan is in line with the council’s policy framework and was initially approved by the cabinet in October 2020.

A report to the cabinet indicates that Tranche B was fully repaid in January 2022, with the residual balance of the repayment being distributed among the remaining tranches.

He added that the new loan proceeds will be used for the development of programs to promote economic development and employment opportunities in Warrington and neighboring North West authorities.

E-commerce company THG has a major logistics/distribution center located in Omega Warrington which employs 2,700 people.