Floatation therapy business sees the light

Driftwood Float Spa provides floatation therapy, which supports people’s health and wellbeing by letting the body float in an Epsom salt and water solution inside the relaxing environment of a float tank.

Floating provides many health benefits, including deep relaxation, stress reduction, pain relief and physical recovery from sport and exercise. By reducing sensory input, floating allows the central nervous system and brain to a fully relax.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Driftwood Float Spa had to run at a reduced capacity so it could adhere to government’s safe working practices. Appointments were extended to three hours – rather than two – to allow for strict cleaning and preparation.

Despite floatation therapy being a COVID-safe experience because of the measures put in place by Driftwood Float Spa, some customers were concerned about visiting a spa during the pandemic.

The business owner, Lee Wood, was keen to introduce another service that would allow more people to visit, and provide a quicker turnaround between customers. Having already explored light therapy, and with additional space available within the business, the decision was made to purchase the necessary equipment.

Driftwood Float Spa applied for support from the North East Business Support Fund (Restart & Recovery/Kick-starting Tourism), which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by the Northern Powerhouse. The business was awarded a grant of £2,500.

Driftwood Float Spa used the grant to purchase a new LED lamp that would allow them to offer light therapy as part of the spa’s services. Customers were able to begin booking light therapy sessions from September 2020.

The light therapy sessions are able to run concurrently with the floatation therapy, allowing Driftwood Float Spa to welcome more customers.

Lee Wood, founder and owner of Driftwood Float Spa, said: “As a new business were are still building our customer base, so the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact.

“During the first England-wide lockdown we were operating below break-even, so things were worrying. The financial support we received has allowed us to expand the business by offering an additional service. This has meant we can increase capacity and welcome more customers.

“For a relatively small investment, we’re now in a more comfortable place and we’re looking forward to growing the business as and when restrictions ease.”

The North East Business Support Fund (Restart & Recovery/Kick-starting Tourism) is administered by North East Enterprise Agency NBSL.

NBSL is approved by BEIS, Customer First, and Investors in People and has a team of experienced business funding advisers, who work with people and businesses across the North East to identify solutions that aid development and growth.

NBSL relaunched The North East Business Support Fund (NEBSF) in 2018. The inaugural round of funding was launched in 2012, since then NBSL has provided funding and support to businesses from an array of sectors spanning all corners of the region with a recent impact report finding that the fund has yielded an impressive £4.40 economic boost for every £1 invested.