Surf school finds ways to ride out recession

Business is combatting a fall in profits with innovative new ideas.

A SURF school in Croyde is coming up with new ways to improve business after a fall in profits last year.

Despite seeing profits triple in the past five years, Surfing Croyde Bay owner Alistair Poll said the season ahead wasn’t looking good.

“After a successful few years, last year we saw our profits halve and the takings were down by 10 per cent,” he said.

“It will be difficult to tell until we get a dry summer whether it is as a result of the economy or because of the bad weather; the rain certainly isn’t helping.”

But the company, which operates a surf school as well as selling pasties, ice-cream and traditional gifts, is coming up with new ways to entice visitors to the area.

“Last month we ran a ladies-only surf day in conjunction with Nalu beads which was really popular and we’ll be running again in September.

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“We’re hoping we can build a community of female surfers who will come down regularly and spend money on accommodation and in local businesses.”

The business has also undergone a full renovation, including the newly added frozen yoghurt ‘Moo Bar’ and the creation of several new jobs.

Mr Poll gave up his career as a property developer in 2003 to follow his passion for surfing and started up the business with a loan from Lloyds TSB.

Phil Slugget, relationship manager at Lloyds TSB Commercial, said: “Surfing Croyde Bay is a popular business that caters to both members of the local community as well as passing tourists.

“At Lloyds TSB Commercial we strive to establish strong working relationships with our customers and we endeavour to provide businesses like Surfing Croyde Bay with the support and expert guidance needed to encourage growth like this.”

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