Seeing off competition from 3,000 other Yorkshire businesses, *Ilkley Brewery* has triumphed as the region’s winner of the Newspaper Society’s Local Business Accelerators competition. The West Yorkshire brewery, just three years old, will now go up against 11 other UK companies at the national final of the initiative.
Based on its strength of brand and its quality of product, the brewery’s win was announced yesterday, Thursday 26 April, by the Local Business Accelerators (LBA) judging panel which includes Helen Loveless, Mail on Sunday business editor; Stephen Welton, Business Growth Fund chief executive; Graham Goodkind, Frank PR founder; Al Young, St Luke’s creative director and Lynne Anderson, Newspaper Society communications and marketing director.
_”We are thrilled to be selected as the region’s representative to go forward to the national final of the Local Business Accelerators programme,”_ said Chris Ives, one of Ilkley Brewery’s directors.
Stewart Ross, Ilkley Brewery director, continues: _”The success of the business has been very much a team effort and we would like to pay tribute to the hard work and long hours put in by everyone associated with Ilkley Brewery.”_
Ilkley Brewery is the only brewery in the national final line-up.
The LBA judges scored each of the 12 finalists on a series of criteria including the originality of the business idea, their ability to fend off competition, their finances and future prospects, their communication skills and their positive impact upon the local community.
Led by Deborah Meaden, the campaign’s national ambassador, the panel will now select an overall LBA winner who will be announced at an awards ceremony in the summer. The overall winner will receive a year’s mentoring from Deborah and an advertising campaign devised by a top London agency.
Toast of the town
After being selected by the Yorkshire Post and a panel of local business experts as one of the region’s most promising young companies back in January, the spa town brewery won a substantial amount of free advertising in the Yorkshire Post and mentoring from John Tordoff, managing director of JCT600 motor group.
This level of support has helped Ilkley Brewery build on its rapid rise to success. Having only brewed its first firkin in 2009, the Yorkshire-based brewery has gone from making 23,000 pints a week at the beginning of 2011 to 40,000 pints a week, thanks to the installation of a sixth fermentor which was officially unveiled by HRH The Princess Royal on 3 April this year.
The brewery has also won a host of awards for its innovative, flavour-filled beers with seven Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) awards including a national gold for its MJ Pale, an artisan pale ale launched late last year.
In 2012, Ilkley Brewery will continue its involvement with Goldman Sachs’ pilot 10,000 Small Businesses Programme which has already enabled the business to team up with other leading producers and suppliers in the region.
Looking ahead, the brewery also hopes to commence export to Sweden and Canada later this year, taking its beers to a global audience.
To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, visit: “www.ilkleybrewery.co.uk”:http://www.ilkleybrewery.co.uk/ or to read the brewery’s blog, go to: “www.ilkleybreweryblog.blogspot.com”:http://www.ilkleybreweryblog.blogspot.com/