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Sheffield Company Brews Up Success

Published: 22nd June 2006

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Pictured from the left is Clive Downward, SYIF Investment Director and Patrick Morton, of Abbeydale Brewery.

A Sheffield company is rekindling the city’s beer brewing industry with an expansion plan funded by a £150,000 loan from South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF).

Abbeydale Brewery will be using the SYIF loan along with a £50,000 Food and Tourism grant from Invest For Growth (IFG) – administered by Business Link South Yorkshire - to expand their brewing capacity from 70 to 150 barrels of beer per week.

The company expansion also includes Abbeydale Brewery’s purchase of their first pub - The Rising Sun at Nether Green, which has nineteen draft beers, including ten hand-pumps, and showcases Abbeydale Brewery beers alongside a selection of guest-beers from South Yorkshire and beyond.

Chris Morton, Director of Abbeydale Brewery, said: "The funding will allow the company to grow much more quickly than would otherwise be possible. The investment will enable us to economise the brewing process and to pay greater attention to quality throughout."

The company’s ‘Moonshine’ beer currently outsells any other micro-brewery produced beer in Sheffield’s pubs and bars. The objective for expansion is to initiate significant production of high quality beers and to re-establish Sheffield’s reputation as a beer producing city.

"Sheffield has always been a hallmark for quality and the city had a proud tradition of brewing beer on a large scale with companies like Stones and Wards. Wards was the last significant regional brewer of beer in Sheffield and we see our expansion as a step on the return path to volume brewing," said Chris.

Abbeydale Brewery was started in 1996 by Patrick Morton and his father Hugh. The family has long-standing business roots in Sheffield, stemming back to Morton’s cutlery business which ceased manufacturing from its West Street premises in 1983.

Chris said: "The family business goes back at least four generations in Sheffield’s steel and cutlery industry, but it has to be said that making beer is much more fun than manufacturing scissors!"

Clive Downward, Investment Director at SYIF, said: "Abbeydale Brewery is an  established company with a very high quality product and the management have a clear vision for future development."

"We are pleased that the SYIF loan will go towards cementing their place as a premier brewery, and in supporting their expansion plans."

SYIF provide loans and equity linked investments ranging from £15k to £2.5m to businesses already in, or prepared to relocate to, South Yorkshire. The Fund has already invested over £21 million in 173 businesses

For more information on how SYIF can help you, please go to www.syif.com or call 01709 386 377

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.
http://www.finance-yorkshire.com

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).