Alpkit, a British outdoor brand and retailer which opened two stores last year, has secured a loan of £200,000 (€227,065-$277,905) from Mercia Fund Managers to support its growth. Alpkit makes its own brand of performance outdoor garments and equipment, along with custom-made titanium bikes under the Sondor brand. Established in 2004, the company opened its first store in April last year in Hathersage, Derbyshire, and another outlet two months later in Ambleside, Cumbria. Alpkit has been led since 2014 by David Hanney, former chief financial officer at Go Outdoors and chief executive at Planet-X bikes. Under his leadership in the last three years, Alpkit has grown six-fold and created more than 50 jobs. The company now employs 63 people and it boasts a customer base of 200,000 in the U.K. and other countries. Alpkit donates one percent of its turnover to its own charity, the Alpkit Foundation, which was created in 2015 to help people to overcome any obstacles they may come across to take part in outdoor activities. The funding will help to support Alpkit's growth, with plans to develop its website, to enhance its product range, to drive international expansion and to open more stores in the U.K.