FOLK2FOLK has appointed Claire Thayers (pictured below) as its chapter development manager to raise the lender’s profile across the South West and Three Counties regions.
The appointment comes after Folk2Folk, which focuses on lending to local and rural businesses, launched a “local lending movement” that aims to help more rural businesses access finance.
Thayers’ role will be to raise awareness of the lender’s offering to borrowers looking for secured debt finance and for local professional partners that can refer clients to the business.
She will be responsible for integrating Folk2Folk within the business communities where agriculture, food and drink production, leisure and tourism are key industries.
She will also be Folk2Folk’s representative with local chambers of commerce, borough councils and other external organisations.
Thayers has worked with Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Visit Cornwall and the Association of Gloucestershire Business Groups.
Most recently, she worked with Gloucester Rugby and Gloucestershire Cricket, founding the Gloucestershire Forwards bi-monthly breakfasts to create a space where businesses and communities can meet and create long-term partnerships.
Giles Cross, who was recently named chief executive of Folk2Folk, said Thayers’ knowledge, experience and passion for local sustainable business will strengthen the company’s reputation as a trusted enabler of rural businesses.
“Her participation in and commitment to the local lending movement will, I have no doubt, help us accelerate awareness of our offering and what we’re trying to achieve,” he added.
Thayers said Cornwall-headquartered Folk2Folk, which launched its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) last July, has a “compelling offering that is fair to both borrowers and lenders and can make a difference to our rural economy”.