Expansion targeted as North Brewing secures £375k funding

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Northern powerhouse: the team at North Brewing Co
Northern powerhouse: the team at North Brewing Co

Related tags Craft beer Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators Finance

Leeds-based brewer and bar operator has secured £375,000 in funding to finance international growth.

The financial package, which has been supplied by Bibby Financial Services (BFS), will also support the business’s cashflow.

North Brewing Co currently operates 10 bars across Yorkshire, Birmingham and Manchester and produces around 20,000 hectolitres of beer annually, which goes into its bars and taproom, the off-trade and is shipped worldwide.

Director and co-founder of North Brewing Co John Gyngell said: “We’re so proud of where our business is today, in large part thanks to our great staff and a lot of love from our customers and community.”

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Really tough year

“But, as a business owner, cashflow is a daily concern, especially over the past 12 months. It’s been a really tough year for the brewing industry, due to a combination of challenges, such as the rising cost of grain, energy, shipping, and the impact of Brexit on international business operations.

“In order to grow the business, we need to be able to focus on the future, rather than just respond to the day to day. BFS’s funding and support gives us the breathing space to concentrate on what we’re best at, plan ahead for business growth over the next few years and have more time to enjoy the day job.”

The business started its life as North Bar on New Briggate high street in 1997 by John Gyngell and Christian Townsley and, after opening more bars, they founded North Brewing Co in 2015, brewing their own range of local craft beers.

In 2020, the business signed a lease for the 21,000sq ft former Victorian Tannery in Springwell, Leeds, which has been converted into a modern brewery, taproom and workspace during the pandemic – and which now serves as the business’s HQ. Its beers are now stocked overseas, including in Japan, China and Australia.

Huge success over 26 years

Conor Smyth, senior funding partner at TFS Finance, an independent commercial finance brokerage focused on the SME market that introduced North to BFS, said: “North Brewing Co has seen huge success over the past 26 years in its local bars and brewing operations, and is also seeing growing national and international demand.”

BFS business development manager Ian Hayes added: “It’s been a pleasure to work with North Brewing Co and TFS Finance to provide this funding line.

“North has been incredibly resilient over the past few years, but as the business and external challenges have become more complex, the business’s leaders have seen their time and energy eaten up thinking about cashflow.

“We quickly worked to understand their needs and pressures and deliver a funding line that would take the weight off John and Christian’s shoulders and minds, so they can focus on the future of the business.”

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