The Cumberland Building Society are experts at helping families up the ladder especially when it comes to those with a clear picture of where they want to be. Families like Richard and Debbie Greaves of A Corner of Eden. Established in 1850 The Cumberland Building Society are part of our region’s financial heritage. They have been supporting Cumbria for over 165 years and we are proud they are sponsoring the Small Leisure and Tourism Category of the 2018 Cumbria Family Business Awards.
One of the most rewarding parts of working with family businesses is seeing their dreams come true. That’s why we were over the moon when this couple’s vision to create a luxury holiday home business out of a dilapidated farm was rewarded with a major international award.
When Richard and Debbie Greaves first set eyes on the run-down tenant farm near Ravenstonedale they did not see the ramshackle buildings that had led so many others to dismiss the property, but instead saw the potential to create a beautiful base for holidays between the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District.
Now after 12 years of renovations their hard work and skill in creating such stylish retreats has been honoured with an award from the European Holiday Home Association.
Click here to see how they created A Corner of Eden.
Finding the right property
Richard recalls that they had spent over 12 months devoting weekends looking for a property to start a holiday home business and had all but given up on the idea when they chanced upon an article in the local press about a Georgian farmhouse up for auction.
“It wasn’t in the area we had been looking in and there were all kinds of reasons why it should have been a non-starter, but we arranged a viewing and by the time we had reached the front gate I had fallen in love with it, bought it, converted it and retired – but maybe that’s how my mind works,” he said.
“It was in a fairly sorry state, but all I could see was the potential and the joy of bringing it back to life and being a naive optimist I thought we will be able to do that in a couple of years – 12 years on and we’re just about finished,” he added.
Finding the finance
Thankfully it was a vision shared not just by Debbie and their friends and family who were to lend a hand with renovation work, but also the Cumberland Building Society who agreed to step in and provide the finance so the couple could go to the auction with a chance of making their dream a reality.
“In fact the chap from the Cumberland came in to the auction and I thought that was a fantastic gesture, to come and support us, wish us luck and help us with the deposit once we were successful.
“It says something about the personal touch which gave us an incredible feeling of support,” Richard said.
Their faith in backing Richard and Debbie has paid off as the couple now have a successful holiday let business.