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Husband and wife re-launch one of Leigh’s best loved shops, using a £40,000 GCBF loan

Husband and wife re-launch one of Leigh’s best loved shops, using a £40,000 GCBF loan


Andrew and Zoe Kerboas are launching Ratcliffe Sports in the same premises as the original Ratcliffe’s of Leigh, the oldest shop in Leigh that served generations of local families since it began trading in 1896.  

When owner Tony Ratcliffe retired in 2016 he was unable to find a buyer for the business, but Andrew and Zoe will now be taking the bike shop into a third century of business. 

The couple will now be using the GC Business Finance loan to buy fixtures, fittings and stock and to rebuild and rebrand the store as a cycle and sports retail business. The new shop will offer specialist sportswear and equipment, a range of bicycles and after sales services such as servicing and repair.  

Future plans for the business include developing a programme of coaching and sports activities, developing an e-commerce platform and becoming a supplier of the cycle to work scheme. 

Andrew said: “Being able to get the funding we needed to buy this shop means an enormous amount to this community, not just because of the huge loyalty to Tony but because there is a real need for a sports and cycle business in Leigh that people can come to for the advice, support and equipment they need to stay active and healthy. 

“When we heard about the shop having to close down, we began to think about how we might be able to step in, take a different direction ourselves and create a new family business. We’re enormously proud to be able to build on the three generations of shop owners that made the original store such a great resource for local people for so many years.”