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Brewery's Toast to Major Expansion

Published: 1st October 2007

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(Left to right) Lead adviser John Warner, Grahame Lunt from South Yorkshire Investment Fund and Steven Beech, managing director at Wentworth Brewery.

A Rotherham brewery has more than doubled its output after a cash top up from the South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

Wentworth Brewery has used the £50,000 loan to increase its capacity for brewing its fine ales and to invest in new technology.

The famous Power House Gun Park site is around 200-years-old and now has a brewing plant capable of producing 30 barrels per day, a threefold boost to its previous capacity. The new computer hardware and bespoke sales system has also created two more jobs, increasing the number of employees to twelve.

The brewery, which has been operating since 1999, produces a selection of real ales and spring water, serving the entire country with the emphasis on the finest beverages and quality customer service.

Steven Beech, Wentworth Brewery’s managing director, said: “We reached a point where demand was outstripping supply and we needed to act and expand the enterprise. The funding package from SYIF has enabled us to multiply our productivity and invest in more commercial areas of the business.

“The first tier of investment was purely to expand the brewing plant and the cask fleet meaning we can supply to our customers on a much larger scale. The second tier has been the updating of our technology so we now have more hardware and a more modernised way of organising our operations.”

Best selling beer, Wentworth Pale Ale (WPA), more affectionately known as ‘Woppa’, is produced alongside other popular ales including Rampant Gryphon, Bumble Beer, and seasonal favourites like Santa’s Secret.

Part of the loan from SYIF has been used to finance an advertising campaign for Bumble Beer, a 4.3% golden honey bitter, which has strengthened links with existing customers as well as stimulating new business.

“The expansion is ongoing and with this step up we’re in a position to maximise the positive impact our growth has on our clients and it paves the way for further growth in the future when hopefully demand will once again bring change,” added Steven.

The Wentworth Brewery is ideally located for good distribution within the surrounding areas. It has a Rotherham address, a Sheffield post code and a Barnsley phone number so is well placed to serve the real ale enthusiasts of South Yorkshire.

The brewery was introduced to SYIF by Barber Harrison and Platt, following which lead adviser John Warner was appointed mentor as part of SYIF’s mentorbank facility. John is also on the board of directors at SYIF.

Grahame Lunt, SYIF’s Investment Manager, said: “Wentworth Brewery is exactly the kind of company we are keen to support in the heart of South Yorkshire. We are delighted to help the company grow and I’m sure fine ale connoisseurs up and down the country will echo that sentiment.”

SYIF can provide 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.

For more information on how South Yorkshire Investment Fund can help your business please 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.

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).