Blackpool loans firm branches out with double tree planting schemes to aid environment

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A Blackpool consumer lender is aiming to do its bit to save the planet, by signing up to two tree planting projects.


Oplo, which has its offices on the Airport enterprise zone at Sir Frank Whittle Way, is teaming up with Trees for Life in the Scottish Highlands, to plant a new tree in its Oplo Grove for every new customer choosing to take out a loan with Oplo.

A similar approach is being taken in its sustainability partnership with Leighton Hall Estate, Carnforth. The aim here is to re-establish woodland with the planting of up to 30,000 trees.

Oplo was founded 12 years ago by chief executive Alex Mollart.

Oplo's Blackpool offices at the airport enterprise zoneOplo’s Blackpool offices at the airport enterprise zone

It was originally called First Stop but rebranded in August last year.

It has more than £300m assets under management and offers personal loans, home loans and car finance to the emerging “new mainstream” market of consumers seeking credit.

Steve McNicholas, chief people officer, said: “Creating a positive social impact is a big part of why Oplo exists. We have a track record of doing business the right way while delivering a positive impact for our customers, our people and our community and we want to extend this impact to the planet.

“We are delighted to offer our customers and our employees a practical, hassle-free option to make a meaningful and genuine difference to protecting our planet.

Leighton Hall near Silverdale which Oplo is helping to plat 30,000 treesLeighton Hall near Silverdale which Oplo is helping to plat 30,000 trees

Lucy Arthurs, estate manager at Leighton Hall Estate said: “Oplo’s support accelerates our ability to re-establish woodlands that contribute to the national drive for long term stabilization and reduction in carbon.

“By having a local partner we can create a sense of ownership by encouraging employees to not only help to plant the trees, but also bulbs and woodland fauna such as primroses.”

Colin Mackenzie-Blackman, head of fundraising and Engagement at Trees for Life, said: “Rewilding requires long-term vision and commitment which is why we are delighted to welcome Oplo as partners with Trees for Life, a wild forest in the Scottish Highlands.”