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You may have noticed microbreweries are now experiencing a remarkable revival in the small business sector across the UK.

Characterised by small-scale production of unique but quality craft ales, these innovative independent breweries are enjoying a surge in interest, not just from ale enthusiasts, but from festivals, businesses and the local communities that they support.


As one of these microbrewery small businesses in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Weal Ales previously sought help from Business Enterprise Support (BES) in 2014 to develop their business and establish their distinctive and enjoyable ale, winning numerous awards for their brews.

However, the microbrewery owners now aimed to take the next logical step of starting a new small business micropub to sell their popular ales and stock guest beers from across the Midlands.

Once again, they contacted BES to seek their advice on the best support to start this new business.

Finding Support for the New Business Micropub

Starting a Micropub to sell their quality microbrewery ales and guest beers would not be a straightforward task.

A suitable location for the micropub had been identified, however despite the simplistic nature of micropubs, which focus on the ale tasting and conversation, this new venue lacked the equipment and fixings required for a successful micropub establishment.

Before they could begin trading with this new business, new equipment and investment in the building would be required. But how could the owners afford to generate such a large initial outlay?

First, they contacted BES for support and advice. As experts in helping to develop and grow new businesses, BES proposed a solution; to use BES services to apply for a grant for new business capital expenditure.

The New Business Capital Grant for Small Businesses

With the support of their dedicated BES enterprise coach, an application was completed to access funding from the New Business Capital Grant.

The grant funding which is provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via BES is ideal for start-ups or new businesses needing to purchase business items, this is because the grant reimburses a third of the total expenditure (up to £5,000 based on £15,000 worth of assets purchased).


This means that a third of the costs for purchasing equipment for the microbrewery pub could be reimbursed, significantly reducing the initial expenditure and making the new venture more affordable and manageable for the business-owners.

As part of the New Business Capital Grant, BES also provided free coaching and support to get the business started as well as 12 months of mentoring after the business begins trading.

Successful Launch for New Business Micropub

Following the approval of the New Business Capital Grant application, equipment for the micropub could finally be purchased, including lighting, refrigeration equipment, a cellar cooling system and hand pumps for the bar.

The money received from the new business grant for the microbrewery pub totalled £1,400; an extremely helpful deduction that was now free to be spent on other start-up costs, including décor, signage or marketing.

Commenting on the valuable reimbursement through BES services, the micropub owners noted:

“The process was relatively simple and given the amount of money you can claim, it is definitely worth the time and effort.”

“Any business that is setting up, should contact BES to find out if they can take advantage of the scheme and the other help that they offer.”

Those in the local community where the new micropub business is situated are now able to enjoy their first tastes of quality craft ales, gins, wines and guest beers and in return the microbrewery pub is also having its first taste of success, thanks to the support and new business capital grant funding from BES.

Do you have a new small business idea that requires the purchase of capital items and equipment to get started?

To benefit from a grant for new business capital items or to find out if your business idea is eligible, visit our New Business Capital Grant web page or contact your friendly BES team for more details.