Allendale Brewery to expand after £30,000 grant from North East Rural Growth Network
Northumberland’s Allendale Brewery is set to expand after securing a £30,000 grant from the North East Rural Growth Network.
The money will allow the family run business, just under 10 miles south west of Hexham, to increase the size of its brew plant and develop a new bottled range of beers.
Brewery owner Tom Hick, who founded the Allen Mill-based firm with his dad Jim in 2006, and now runs it with wife Lucy, said he was extremely pleased to have secured the funding.
“It has been a rigorous selection procedure which has made the final successful result all the more satisfying,” he said. “The Rural Economy Grant has come at a crucial time for our business that will allow us purchase the vessels and other associated equipment that we need now, when we need it, which we would not have been able to do without the grant.
“Our thanks go to all of the people who have helped since we started the application in February.”
The grant was awarded as part of the Small Business Growth Fund from the North East Rural Growth Network, which is led by Northumberland County Council.
Its three-year programme is intended to help rural areas in Northumberland, Gateshead and Durham by investing in high growth businesses within specific sectors and introducing a range of enterprise hubs and business support services.
The grant fund of up to £1 million, launched in January this year, is being provided from Defra’s Rural Development Programme for England and is in addition to £3.2million already invested by Defra in a pilot version of the North East RGN.
The fund is designed to support new or existing businesses with less than ten employees to develop new and much needed jobs in rural areas and help overcome barriers to economic growth such as shortage of business premises and limited access to finance.
Councillor Allan Hepple, policy board member for planning, housing and regeneration at Northumberland County Council, said: “This is a great boost for new and small businesses that may have some ambitious plans for their future but need that extra help, and will also create new jobs.
“The successful application for Tom and his wife is testament that this process is successful and worthwhile looking into. I would encourage those who think they may be eligible to find out more information.”
Anthony Braithwaite chairman of the North East Farming and Rural Advisory Network (NEFRAN) said: “This is an excellent example of an existing rural business within a remote, upland community being helped to expand and create new jobs through Rural Growth Network pilot funding for the North East.
“The pilot programme was initiated to create economic growth across rural areas of Northumberland, Gateshead and Durham, where micro businesses are the lifeblood of their communities, and this project demonstrates what can be realised with a targeted programme of support for these areas”.