Brewery reaping rewards of accelerator campaign

INVESTOR and entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, who is mentoring Ilkley Brewery after its success in last year’s Local Business Accelerators campaign, said the Yorkshire business has been “powerfully accelerated” by its prize.

As the national winner of the competition, which is now open for entries for 2012, Ilkley Brewery won a year’s mentoring from Ms Meaden, of TV’s Dragons’ Den, as well as a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative agency. This year, an additional £10,000 cash sum from the Business Growth Fund has been added to the prize package for the national winner.

The brewery was one of the three regional finalists of the Yorkshire Post-backed Local Business Accelerators (LBA) competition. The finalists received mentoring from leading business people in the region and free advertising with this newspaper.

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Ms Meaden said: “Mentoring the Ilkley Brewery is proving to be an extremely rewarding experience as the owners have an infectious belief in, and passion for, their business.

“They have already been powerfully accelerated by the LBA prize of free local newspaper advertising and mentoring and could, I believe, go on to be extremely successful. I am really looking forward to continuing to be involved in their development.”

Ilkley Brewery was set up in 2009 with an initial investment of £50,000. Today, the business is forecasting revenues of £1.2m for 2012, with a target of £2m for 2013, and it supplies the likes of Asda, Booths, Morrisons and Harvey Nichols.

This year, the Yorkshire-based business mentors are Paul Ayre, managing partner of law firm Gordons, which is based in Leeds and Bradford, Roger Marsh, managing partner at PwC in Leeds, and John Hooper, director for Yorkshire Bank.

The LBA scheme, backed by the Prime Minister, is open to firms in the region aged between one and five years. Organised by the Newspaper Society, it is being replicated by newspapers across the UK. This year the Government and private sector’s Business in You campaign is supporting the competition. It highlights support and advice available to businesses to help them start up, improve and grow.

To enter the LBA competition, visit www.accelerateme.co.uk. The deadline is November 16.