Staffordshire brewery ups production with £10k small business grant

February 15, 2018

A Staffordshire brewery has upped its contract bottling production by 25 per cent – thanks to a £10k business grant.

Staffordshire Brewery Limited, based in Cheddleton, applied to the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub’s Small Business Grant Scheme for help to buy machinery to boost production speed.

The brewery makes and bottles its own beer, as well as providing a bottling service to other breweries across the UK – including Lymestone Brewery in Stone, and Titanic Brewery in Stoke-on-Trent.

Ken Newsome, compliance and projects officer, said: “We bought a new bottling line, faster than the one we had, but we were having to manually put the bottles on and we couldn’t keep up with it! We needed a semi-automatic de-palletiser to allow us to feed empty bottles to the machine at a rate we couldn’t do manually.”

But having just invested in the new bottling line, the brewery needed to secure more funding for the extra piece of equipment.

Ken, 68, from Congleton, added: “I read about the grant scheme in the Growth Hub’s newsletter, having previously been in touch through Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce. I called the free advice line, which signposted me to the Small Business Grant Scheme Manager.  After answering a few simple eligibility questions I was sent an application form to complete. We were so pleased to find out we were successful.

“The de-palletiser cost around £40k, including delivery and installation, so the £10k grant gave us that extra bit needed to foot the bill. It’s increased production by at least 25 per cent, reduced production costs, and allowed us to gain more customers, because we can meet the demand.

“The Growth Hub was very helpful in providing funding advice and guiding us through the process. I would strongly recommend other businesses give them a call.”

Julie Evans, Growth Hub Small Business Grants Scheme manager, said: “The Small Business Grant Scheme supports the growth of existing B2B small and medium-sized enterprises in the Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP area.

“We are happy to have been able to help Staffordshire Brewery purchase their de-palletiser to enable them to speed up their bottling process, and welcome applications from other SMEs in the area.”

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