Cruise company moves into new Chorley home

Panache Cruises has taken up residence in Chorley's Strawberry Fields after securing growth funds from Rosebud.

The company achieved sales of £3m in its first year despite the international ban on travel, and the new offices will accommodate its current team of 15 with room for further growth. Its ambition is now to become the UK’s largest retailer of luxury cruises in the UK by 2027.

Panache was founded by current managing director James Cole, who is a long-time veteran of the cruise industry having worked in the sector for 20 plus years.

During his career he has set up and grown two £100m retail cruise businesses and launched his latest venture in the midst of the pandemic last year, having developed the business plan during the first period of lockdown.

He said: "Having missed out on cruising for the last 18 months, British cruisers are keen to get back on-board and we are currently seeing a high level of interest for 2022 and 2023 cruises, with prices starting to rise and availability beginning to dwindle.

"Launching Panache Cruises was never about the short-term, it was all about the long-term growth opportunity. We know that cruise, especially the luxury sector, is due to grow significantly over the next five to ten years and our strategy is to grow with it.

"Whilst the pandemic has of course brought its challenges, it has also given us the opportunity to establish what is now a settled and experienced team, build strong connections with our cruise line partners and develop loyal relationships with customers who are really enjoying our content and beginning to trust us as their preferred cruise partner."

Rosebud is a product managed by GC Business Finance on behalf of Lancashire County Council, which aims to support the growth of Lancashire businesses and therefore the local economy, by offering business loans ranging from £10,000 to £300,000.

Matt Robinson, Rosebud’s fund manager, added: "The success that Panache has seen in its first year of trading, despite the economic conditions, is remarkable but not a surprise. The business is led by a highly impressive and experienced management team with a track record of successfully building companies in this sector previously."