Richard’s Story


“Sharp & Tappin is a precision engineering company and has been going for 11 years. The business has two parts: one is onboard cameras for ships and the other is composite blade saws for the aerospace industry. The business was set up by one of my sons and one of his friends’ fathers and I joined it. The business was expanding and we desperately needed more space. We were renting units but we didn’t want to rent more space as this was dead money, instead, we wanted to buy some land and build on it.

In 2007, we bought development land, Natwest were going to lend us the money but they changed their mind. We went to Parnells Solicitors who put us in contact with a local farmer which enabled us to take out a private mortgage. We negotiated the interest rate and he even came to see the business. The deal was that if either party wanted their money back there was a three-month clause. In the end, we moved the mortgage to Lloyds and paid off the farmer but it certainly helped us in the first instance.

We then needed further funds to actually build the units on the acquired development land. We desperately needed more space as we were expanding at a colossal rate. We went back to Lloyds bank and although I couldn’t fault the local people there, it just took too long and we needed to get on with it.

How FOLK2FOLK helped us

Meanwhile, the owners of Parnalls had set up Folk2Folk. This time we didn’t have to negotiate with a private lender it was all agreed up front, we didn’t meet the lender and within 10 days the money was in our bank. I can’t recommend Folk2Folk more highly.

We employ about fourteen locals and one who works from home. We now have two units, one is for all the engineering and the other is now rented out on a long lease.  Sharp & Tappin is a family business, I am working with two of my sons and my partner Pete has his son and wife working with us too.

Folk2Folk allowed us to build our own premises, the whole process couldn’t have been more straightforward. Without Folk2Folk we couldn’t have expanded the business.  By enabling us to build the units we’ve been able to develop the business and continue to grow it.

My partner and I view the second unit as our pension pot. I would certainly recommend Folk2Folk as they are professional, easy to deal with and more importantly the money is accessible very quickly.”