GCBF is proud to be an approved lender under the Recovery Loan Scheme

Case Study

Bury bridal entrepreneur uses Start Up Loan to say yes to the dress shop

Bury bridal entrepreneur uses Start Up Loan to say yes to the dress shop


Bury entrepreneur and mum of two Steph Davison is launching her new boutique bridal store in Bury using a £25,000 Start Up Loan from GC Business Finance.


Alice Ada Bridal at The Rock Shopping Centre offers a contemporary and relaxing retail environment with an extensive range of wedding dress designers including Mikaella and Hayley Paige Occasions.


Steph has come full circle in her retail journey, having worked at Debenhams in The Rock when the centre first opened in 2010.  With the launch of Alice Ada Bridal – which is named after her two grandmothers – Steph will offer one-to-one bridal consultations, a range of accessories and a collection of wedding dresses from size 8 upwards for brides-to-be who want a luxury experience at an affordable price. The boutique also offers a diverse range of bridesmaid and prom dresses to complement the collection.


Steph will be using the £25k Start Up Loan to develop the company’s website and other digital channels to build online awareness and sales, to invest in brand partnerships and provide a luxury environment for customers.

Steph said: “Choosing your wedding dress is a memorable and emotional experience and we want to make sure that our brides are treated like royalty from the moment they contact us. Having worked in the industry for several years, I already have some great connections and ideas for the business and being able to access the Start Up Loan and support from GC Business Finance has meant we can really invest in developing those to ensure that Alice Ada Bridal continues to evolve and diversify.

Chris Hutchison, Head of Lending at GC Business Finance, said: “Steph spotted a great gap in the market for affordable luxury wedding dresses and where better to open her doors than one of our busiest shopping centres? She knows her market inside out and we look forward to supporting Alice Ada Bridal in establishing itself as one of the region’s leading wedding retailers.


Arnold Wilcox-Wood, Centre Director at The Rock, said: “Alice Ada Bridal is a great addition to The Rock and Bury town centre as a whole. We’re sure that brides visiting the store will enjoy a wonderful experience and we wish Steph every success in her new venture. We’re thrilled Steph decided to open here at The Rock having worked here almost nine years go.


GC Business Finance, the North West delivery partner of the government’s national £310m Start Up Loans programme, will see £15 million allocated to new start-ups across the North West over a two-year period, creating around 3,000 new businesses and over 5,000 new jobs in the region.


GC Business Finance is the finance arm of The Growth Company and supported by the GM Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership. GC Business Finance is a key alternative source of funding for businesses in Greater Manchester and has grown a comprehensive range of finance products from £500 through to £500k, with support on raising early stage equity through the GM Co Investment Fund of up to £2m. GC Business Finance currently manages over £100m of publically-backed small business investments across the UK.