Jobs created as top Lancashire restaurant expands

Garry Birchall  of Lloyds, with Stefano Bragagnini, Louise Bragagnini,  Ivan Bragagnini,  and Carlo Bragagnini
Garry Birchall of Lloyds, with Stefano Bragagnini, Louise Bragagnini, Ivan Bragagnini, and Carlo Bragagnini
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A Preston-based Italian restaurant group is set to boost turnover at its flagship restaurant by 20 per cent after expanding for the third time, with the support of a seven-figure funding package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The expansion of The Italian Orchard, located in Broughton, near Preston, has been unveiled following six months of construction work and forms part of a sustained period of growth across the San Marco Group’s property portfolio.

The 500 sq m extension, which features a newly-built bar area and retractable glass roof, will see the popular family restaurant boost capacity by 50 covers a night.

As a result, the group is set to hire 10 new members of staff in the coming months.

Part of the tailored funding package from Lloyds Bank has also been used to revamp the previously unused top floor of Stratos, a Preston city centre restaurant owned by the San Marco Group.

The space has been converted into 17 self-contained apartments, which will be used for staff accommodation.

Carlo Bragagnini, director at San Marco Group, said: “Over the last four decades, San Marco has grown from one small, family-run restaurant into an established and highly regarded chain of bars and restaurants.

“When the chance to expand the existing premises at The Italian Orchard arose, we immediately recognised the potential to not only satisfy increasing demand but also to implement plans for future growth.

“The move gives us the financial strength to accelerate future planned projects, which include creating a new manufacturing facility that will begin supplying fresh pasta to our restaurants later this year.

He added: “The team at Lloyds Bank has been by our side throughout the process, providing the guidance we needed to plan and deliver these ambitious projects simultaneously.”