Midlothian luxury pod firm Armadilla grows order book

The firm designs and makes luxury accommodation pods. Picture: contributed.The firm designs and makes luxury accommodation pods. Picture: contributed.
The firm designs and makes luxury accommodation pods. Picture: contributed.
Armadilla, which designs and makes luxury accommodation pods, is hoping to benefit from the global staycation market as it emerges from lockdown with a growing order book, having been buoyed by bank funding.

The family-run business based in Midlothian said it has navigated the economic impact of the pandemic with support from Clydesdale Bank, owned by Virgin Money UK.

The firm was forced to close its 25,000-square-foot factory in Bonnyrigg and furlough its 40 staff in March because of the lockdown and delay several customer projects. But it said that after securing funding from Clydesdale through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, it was able meet projected cash flow shortfalls and cover fixed costs and supplier payments.

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Operations resumed last month, and the company is fulfilling its pre-lockdown orders and receiving a growing volume of new orders from customers around the world. Its clients include the commercial hospitality sector, such as hotel groups, holiday parks and resorts.

MD Archie Hunter said: “With global travel restrictions in place because of coronavirus, hospitality-providers around the world are turning their attention to their domestic markets and seeking to create unique experiences for the staycation market. Our pods are designed and built to a luxury standard and offer guests the ‘wow’ factor without the need to travel abroad.

“The innovative design of our products means our pods can be shipped globally and built in around three weeks, offering customers a relatively quick, but high-quality solution. We have a robust pipeline in the UK and Ireland, with orders also coming in from Europe. We are shipping to New Zealand and talking to customers in Saudi Arabia, where they are seeking to drive their tourism market to boost the economy.

“Business is strong at the moment. The coronavirus lockdown created a bit of a hiccup in our plans, but the support from Clydesdale Bank has allowed us to sustain the business through a challenging time and we’re now on the cusp of a really exciting growth period.”


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Michael Mackie, relationship manager at Clydesdale Bank, said: “The hospitality sector was hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown and suppliers to the sector, like Armadilla, felt the full weight of that impact too.

"Now, we’re starting to see new opportunities emerge and Armadilla is in a strong position to take advantage of growing demand for holiday pods. We have worked with the business for several years and have supported their business plans, including funding to invest in innovative new cutting technology, and we look forward to celebrating their ongoing growth.”

Armadilla has customers across the UK and Ireland, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and South America. In Scotland, its pods are used at RiverBeds, a luxury lodges estate in Glencoe. In April, the company received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the innovation category in recognition of the innovation that has been incorporated into the design, manufacture and features of the hotelier pod.

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