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Success for Organic Farm Shop after BEF Refinance


Often the best way to grow a business is through a refinance. Cross Lanes Café in Barnard Castle was opened in 2011 and wanted to continue development after a successful start.

Business Enterprise Fund Investment Manager David Winspear advised Peter and Sue Coverdale and was able to provide a loan to open opportunities of developing the business. With the investment in place and customers coming through the door, Cross Lanes was ready to expand its offering.

"The loan has helped a great deal, for us, refinancing was the best way forward. David has been helpful and very supportive along the way. Now we can look ahead, there are lots of plans!"

Cross Lanes is a family run project that includes a farm shop, café and education centre. A long dream of Sue and Peter Coverdale, the business uses local produce and resources with an environmentally friendly ethos.

Down to its location, local produce is sourced from 4 counties, Durham, Northumberland, Cumbria and Yorkshire, and the building itself represents Cross Lanes’ spirit; the rolling grass roof often has sheep grazing on it!

Peter used his skills to 're-dress' reclaimed stone for the walls while inside, a staircase made from recycled metal and materials takes centre stage.



The team’s approach shows that positive ideas such as keeping produce local can be a reality. Their greenhouse produces tomatoes used every day in warmer months and the seasonal menu allows maximum self-sufficiency. Even the meat comes from a farm within the family.

"We need to work closely together to be self-sufficient, the needs are in everyone's interest." Said Manager, Deborah Hare.

Cross Lanes also has a developing education centre where classes on cooking, growing vegetables and stone work can be taken.

"There's so much scope with what we can do with the classroom, we've got lots planned and want to expand it so there's more on offer. Thanks to the loan from BEF we can put the plans into action."

Cross Lanes has picked up a number of awards since opening, including a spot in the ‘Top 10 Destination Farm Shops’ by the BBC.

“We didn’t even know a judge had come in until we were told Cross Lanes had made it to the top 10!”


Not every business wants a ‘commercial’ face. Cross Lanes’ focus is to educate the customer to think about want they buy and serve the local economy. With the help of BEF, there is sustainable growth for the future as well as the perfect stop off point for anyone on the A66! Visit Cross Lanes online.

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