Award-winning local business, Wye Valley Brewery, have been able to improve their operations following the award of a Marches Building Investment Grant (MBIG) from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via Herefordshire Council.
Since 1985, family-owned Wye Valley Brewery have been producing cask, keg and bottle beers using quality ingredients sourced from local farms.
The brewery was started by ex-Guinness brewer, Peter Amor, using the outbuildings of a small rural pub to brew his first beers. Fast forward nearly 35 years, Wye Valley Brewery is now brewing and delivering more than 12 million pints a year to 1,200 pubs, restaurants and bars throughout the West Midlands and South Wales.
Relocating the brewery in 2001, to the former Symonds Cider site in Stoke Lacy, started a decade of investment and expansion to cope with the business’ growing demands. This included a bottling line in 2009 to take advantage of demand from supermarkets and wholesalers, and then a new brewhouse in 2013, to increase brewing capacity. However, with double the beer being produced, the brewery needed to be able to store and deliver more.
Marches Building Investment Grant (MBIG) funding of £100k from the ERDF has enabled Wye Valley Brewery to extend an existing building at the rear of their 9-acre site, providing much-needed additional storage at optimum temperatures and multi-level loading bays to maximise the brewery’s distribution of its products. The new facilities also allow the consolidation of cask washing/filling operations and storage in one building, improving efficiency and safety.
The works were completed in December 2018 and have created 5 additional jobs to date.
Vernon Amor, Managing Director of Wye Valley Brewery, said: “We are delighted to have completed our latest significant investment at Wye Valley Brewery with assistance from the Marches Building Investment Grant Scheme, care of the ERDF. Our new building improves our efficiency and helps towards our ‘green’ goals. For the first time, we’ve our cask-washing, filling, storing and loading bays under one roof, as well as additional roof space to increase our solar PV installations.”
Cllr Trish Marsh, Cabinet Member for Environment, Economy and Skills, said: “The council are delighted to have been able to allocate Marches Building Investment Grant funding to allow Wye Valley Brewery to continue to flourish. It is one of our priorities to support the growth of our local economy and it is wonderful to see a local business continue to expand, attracting investment, creating jobs, and providing the county with a range of delicious beverages!”
ERDF funds are nearly fully committed in Herefordshire, but the council is bidding for more funds and hopes to continue the scheme for a further three years.
If you are interested in applying for funding please contact 01432 260662. Any businesses and community groups can explore the range of funding and grant options available in the county at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/funding