Recruitment firm takes over Friday Bridge Camp

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WISBECH firm WMS Recruitment Limited has bought Friday Bridge International Camp and has plans to upgrade the premises to bring it into the 21st Century.

The former prisoner-of war-camp is currently home to around 240 workers, mainly from Eastern European countries but also some English workers.

WMS, which is now based at the camp, concluded the deal in June from the receivers after the site had been in the ownership of the McDonalds family for years.

It is now known as the WMS Friday Bridge Camp and operations director Dave McIntyre explained the aim is to improve the site and have facilities which can also be open to the public.

WMS Recruitment Ltd secured a £500,000 loan from Barclays Corporate towards the purchase of the site but the amount paid for the camp has not been revealed.

WMS is a specialist recruitment company which provides labour for the agriculture, horticulture and food processing industries.

The business was established by managing director, Wayne Cottrill and Mr McIntyre.

Mr McIntyre explained the site was run down and had 85 residents.

It already has facilities including a site bar, cinema, club house, swimming pool and tennis court.

He said things need upgrading and some repairs have already been carried out to make more “liveable standards”.

Future plans include creating accommodation for couples as well.

“We want to knock down the club house and build a new one with a gym and solarium which we would open to the people of Friday Bridge,” said Mr McIntyre.

The camp is on a 12.7-acre site and was turned from a prisoner- of-war camp into a hostel for migrant workers in the late 1940s.

Said Mr McIntyre: “This has been a key strategic purchase which would not have been possible without the help and support of Barclays Corporate. At short notice we approached the bank for assistance and our Relationship Director and his team have dealt with matters in a very speedy and efficient manner all the way through from our initial enquiry through to the final drawdown of the loan.”

Kevin Peart, Relationship Director, Barclays Corporate said: “We are delighted to be able to support our client with this substantial investment for such a strategic opportunity.”