News - 11 August 2015

Brewing boost is a cause for cheers

An award-winning Derbyshire brewery – whose expansion was boosted with the help of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership investment – has been cited by Government as proof of a British brewing resurgence, which it claims has seen an average of three breweries opening each week.

Britain had returned to its rightful role as a “brewing powerhouse”, claimed Community Pubs Minister Marcus Jones today (August 11), as new figures sourced via the British Beer and Pub Association revealed that in 2014 (the latest figures available) more than 1,400 breweries opened in Britain.

Among those businesses quoted as a success story was Thornbridge Brewery of Bakewell, Derbyshire, which this year marks its tenth anniversary. Its Owner and CEO is Jim Harrison (pictured below).

Jim Harrison

Last October (2014) award winning Thornbridge received a £78,000 grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s Unlocking Investment for Growth grant; to enable it to expand its premises, produce more ale for fresh international markets, and take on extra staff.

The Government news release issued today, on the first day of the Great British Beer Festival in London, said that the number of breweries in the East Midlands had grown from 118 two years ago to 149 now and that the number of jobs in the region supported by the beer and pub sector now stood at 66,181.

Mike Benner, from the Society of Independent Brewers, added: “This is an incredibly exciting time for British craft brewing. The number of breweries is soaring, leading to more jobs across the UK and more choice for consumers.”

Unlocking Investment for Growth received funding from the UK’s Regional Growth Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. UI4G grants were awarded to businesses with the aim of creating long term sustainable jobs. UI4G is now fully committed and not accepting applications. Grants already approved are expected to over 400 new jobs and safeguard a further 350 existing jobs.

For more information about Thornbridge Brewery see its website at

Further information about the D2N2 LEP and its work can be found at website

Media requiring more information about the work of the D2N2 LEP can contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Officer, on 01159 578749 or email: 

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