Supporting growth and succession of leading holiday home manufacturer, Carnaby Caravans

October 2021

Carnaby With Logo
Client Carnaby Caravans
Sector Holiday Home Manufacturer
Facility Debt and working capital
Funding Need Growth & Succession
Value Undisclosed
Team Corporate Lending
Region Yorkshire and the Humber


  • Carnaby Caravans is set for further growth following the support of specialist lender Shawbrook Bank who provided a debt and working capital solution
  • Sandra Carter and Mike Swift join the board alongside Nigel Smailes, Tim Meadley and Scott Thornton as the business moves forward
  • Support was also given by debt funder, Frontier Development Capital



Carnaby Caravans, a leading manufacturer of high-quality holiday homes, is set for further growth following a record year which has seen revenues grow by more than 50% to £30m. Shawbrook, the specialist lender, has provided an undisclosed funding package to Carnaby, alongside backing from debt funder Frontier Development Capital.

Founded in 1976 in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, Carnaby is one of the UK’s most well-established manufacturers of high-quality holiday homes. The business has grown substantially over this time, driven by its reputation of producing holiday homes to an exceptional standard through continued innovation and outstanding craftmanship.

The transaction, initiated by its shareholders Nigel Smailes, Chief Executive, and Tim Meadley, Operations Director, allows the business to pursue its ambitious growth plans, driven by the significant increase in the popularity of UK stay-cations and holiday homes.

Sandra Carter, Sales Director, and Mike Swift, Technical Director, join Scott Thornton, Finance Director, on the board with all three becoming shareholders alongside Nigel Smailes and Tim Meadley.

Carnaby Caravans was introduced to Shawbrook Bank by Dow Schofield Watts (Roger Esler, Paul Herriott, Matt Spence) who led and structured the transaction on behalf of Nigel Smailes and Tim Meadley. Legal advice was provided by Clarion Solicitors (Jonathan Simms, Alex Cooper, Marie Pugh). Shawbrook Bank was advised by Shoosmiths (Anna Robson, James Foster). Frontier Development Capital also supported the transaction and was advised by Squire Patton Boggs (Matt Ingram). Management was advised by Gordons (Jonathan Asquez). Financial due diligence was provided by RSM. Murray Harcourt were tax advisers (Neil Sengupta).

Following the successful completion of this transaction and the new appointments to the board, we are eager to further strengthen our presence in our markets as we continue to serve our customers, existing and new. 


— Nigel Smailes, CEO at Carnaby Caravans

Nigel added: “Shawbrook has an excellent reputation in our local market and this was proven by their ability to deliver. By getting to know our business and our needs they were able to craft a bespoke funding solution that will allow us to evolve the business and continue to grow as we look ahead. We are delighted to welcome Shawbrook alongside Frontier Development Capital as new funders to the business."

Roger Esler, Corporate Finance Director at Dow Schofield Watts, commented:

“We have worked with Carnaby Caravans over several years and witnessed both the growth in the business and the strengthening of its brand with leisure parks and holiday home owners alike. We are delighted to have advised on this transaction that brings new funders to the business as well as new appointments to the board at a time of unprecedented activity for the market.”


Ondrej Okeke of Frontier Development Capital, commented:

“FDC is delighted to be backing this highly operationally-skilled and experienced management team at Carnaby Caravans, who are stalwarts of the leisure home industry. They have nurtured a business with a long-established reputation for building products of superior design and quality and maintained a very loyal customer base.

We are excited to be supporting the Carnaby team as the Company enters the next stage of its growth story.”


Daniel Martin, Senior Director within Shawbrook Bank’s Corporate Lending team, said:

“Carnaby Caravans is a very well-respected business across the markets it operates in and we are delighted to have been able to support their future growth plans.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Nigel and the team and it was clear from the outset that they are very passionate about the business so we are excited to see how Carnaby Caravans continues to develop over the coming months and years and are confident in its future.

“Our thanks go to the teams at Dow Schofield Watts and Frontier Development Capital, and all others involved, for their support on this deal.”


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