Couple set up micropub with Government-backed funds

By Sara Hussein

- Last updated on GMT

The EnGin micopub was set up through the Government's Start Up Loans
The EnGin micopub was set up through the Government's Start Up Loans

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A couple have set up the first micropub in the village of Whiston in Knowsley, Merseyside, though a Government-backed scheme. 

The micropub — Beer EnGin — opened this year after local funding provider Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF) gave the owners under £10,000 through Start Up Loans​, a Government-backed scheme that helps entrepreneurs set up new businesses. 

Owner and founder Jeff Voller told The Morning Advertiser​: “It was important to make sure that we had suitable finances to launch.

“The shop needed a lot of work and the loan helped towards the refurbishment. There was a lot of improvement needed to get the site up to scratch.”

A ‘real community’ micropub

The dog-friendly pub has grown in popularity ever since opening and has created a “real community” atmosphere, especially with pet-owners.

Voller said: “There are more micropubs now that we’ve opened. When we came up with the idea there was only one in the region, the Liverpool Pidgeon in Merseyside.”

Once a pet shop, the pub specialises in real ale as well as a ‘plethora’ of gin—all of which are supplied by local producers.

He added: “There were a lot of the pubs in the area which have closed down over the years. We couldn’t get any real ale in the region. People were travelling to Liverpool or Manchester."

‘Make an idea a reality’

MSIF investment manager Steve Hitchen said: “It's always great to see people who want to be self-employed make that idea a reality.

“Without previous experience, it's often difficult to get funding from traditional sources like banks. The Start Up Loans Programme is designed to help people who haven't necessarily got that track record of running their own business get off the ground. 

“We are really pleased to have been able to support them in the venture.”

Voller said: “There's a possibility that we might expand in the future, but it’s still early days for Beer EnGin. We have to walk before we run.” 

You can find out more about Start Up Loans here: https://www.startuploans.co.uk/​ 

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