Case study

Barker Langham secures projects in the Middle East

World-leading cultural heritage consultancy wins 2 contracts working on projects in the UAE thanks to support from UKEF.

Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum

Cash deposit presents a financial challenge

When Barker Langham won 2 contracts with clients in the UAE, both deals required the company to provide performance bonds from its bank. However, the company was expected to provide a cash deposit to act as collateral against the risk of issuing the bonds. Due to the large value of the contracts, the size of the deposits posed a financial challenge because the company needed to retain enough liquidity to pay its staff and fulfil the contracts.

The deposit wasn’t the only difficulty thrown up by the performance bond requirement. The lengthy application process for the bond was also daunting, a common experience for many SMEs which often lack access to the expertise and resources available to larger companies.

Anne Roumajon, Team and Project Manager at Barker Langham, said:

We’re a small company and our staff’s expertise lies in cultural and heritage-based advice. When it came to the performance bond, we were unclear about certain aspects of the application, and because of the amounts we were dealing with, we really didn’t want to get it wrong. When we went to the bank for advice, the information they gave us didn’t actually address our concerns.

UKEF support secured liquidity

Our mission is to make sure no viable UK export fails for lack of available finance – and the help on offer to exporters includes both financial support, but also vital guidance on how to navigate export financing.

We offered Barker Langham’s bank a guarantee for the performance bond through our Bond Support Scheme, substantially reducing the size of the deposit required. As a result, Barker Langham was able to secure both contracts, while holding on to the liquidity needed to fulfil them and expand its business further into this promising market.

Anne Roumajon, Team and Project Manager at Barker Langham, said:

Without UKEF’s help, we would have just gone around in circles and it might have taken so long to get the bond that it would have jeopardised the deals. Actually being able to speak to someone at UKEF about our situation and get specific answers on what to do made a world of difference. The Bond Support Scheme was really vital to the success of these contracts for us, and now we know the help is there, we can be confident in seeking more business abroad.

Julie Robertson, Senior Export Finance Manager for the South, said:

I am delighted that UKEF were able to help Barker Langham access the financial support they needed to secure both contracts in what was a fantastic opportunity for the company. This is a great example of how UKEF can support small UK companies to accelerate their growth and expand abroad.

About Barker Langham

Headquartered in London, consultancy Barker Langham specialises in the strategic planning and practical development of cultural heritage projects across the globe. Despite having only 20 employees, its clients span government departments, academic institutions, and commercial and charitable organisations, with an annual turnover of nearly £1.5 million and prestigious previous projects including the National Museum of Qatar and Alexandra Palace.

The company has exported its services all over the world since its inception in 2005, from Asia to Africa and the Americas, but has found particular success in the Middle East due to the nascent but rapid development of cultural institutions there.

How to access UKEF support

Putting the right finance and insurance in place can give you the exporting edge, helping you to win contracts, fulfil orders and get paid.

Published 8 February 2018