Burnley’s banking hero David Fishwick has come face-to-face with loan sharks of a different kind at an East Lancashire aquarium.
The Bank of Dave creator caused a splash when he loaned Aquascope and Coopers Critters the cash to buy three Black Tip Reef Sharks on his hit Channel 4 show.
Now the TV favourite has returned to see the 3ft predators in the flesh as they have become the star attraction at the Clayton-le-Moors centre.
The loan has helped transform the Aquascope business which now boasts the 50,000 litre shark pool as well as giant rabbits, snakes, skunks and even a piranha feeding tank.
Mr Fishwick said: “It’s fantastic to see Aquascope going from strength to strength and I think it benefits the local area to be able to come to somewhere to see the wide variety of animals here.
“This venture is really something to be proud of.”
The Sabden entrepreneur hailed the opening of the new store which attracted hundreds of visitors.
But he was also celebrating the day which came as Aquascope, owned by Steve Punchard, became the first Bank of Dave customer to pay off a loan in full. “It is a great milestone. It does make me feel incredibly proud to be part of the Bank of Dave team.
“It is nice to see that we are doing exactly what we say on the tin.
“We are proving to the big banks that we can do it better than them and make a real difference in Burnley.”
“There was no chance of him going to a loan shark to buy a shark,” joked Mr Fishwick.
Mr Punchard, from Clitheroe, said since featuring on the Bank of Dave programme 18 months ago, the sharks are not the only things to have got bigger – visitor numbers to the centre have grown too.
Mr Punchard said: “Dave inspired us to get sharks as he was always talking about getting something unique. He’s been really good to us and we’re really pleased with our new location.
“It has breathed new life into the business. Families love coming to see the sharks and piranhas being fed, the animal shows and the Jungle Party Room with the giant rabbits, lizards and snakes.”