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Start-up brewery owners urge businesses to apply for chunk of £2.8m grant following huge financial boost

PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:26 05 September 2018

An impression of what Duration Brewery's courtyard will look like. Picture: @5HT

An impression of what Duration Brewery's courtyard will look like. Picture: @5HT

Duration Brewery

Two craft beer entrepreneurs have spoken of the impact that a £176,000 European grant has had on their business – and urged other rural firms to apply for a share of the remaining £2.8m.

Derek Bates and Miranda Hudson. Picture: Mark Newton PhotographyDerek Bates and Miranda Hudson. Picture: Mark Newton Photography

Duration Brewing will open a farmhouse brewery and tap house amongst the ruins of a 900-year-old priory in West Acre, near King’s Lynn.

Owners Derek Bates and Miranda Hudson were awarded the grant towards their multi-million pound project via Norfolk County Council’s Leader programme.

Ms Hudson said: “This grant awarded early on meant that other investors had the confidence to come on board, because they saw that we had the planning, and we had the support to make this a success.

“This means the business isn’t run by big corporation investors, it’s run by us backed by a number of local individuals. There’s also less pressure on the business because our success won’t have to be offset by debt.”

A render sketch of what the brewery's barn will look like. Picture: @5HTA render sketch of what the brewery's barn will look like. Picture: @5HT

The funds will be spent on specialised equipment for both traditional and more commercial brewing fermentation techniques.

Ms Hudson added: “We want to bring back techniques that are traditional to the region, but have been forgotten. We’ll be using coolships for this – large trays which allow an ingredient called wort to cool in a different way.

“We’ll also be spending some of the funds on foeders, which are large fermentation vessels that allow for beers to age slowly with added flavour complexity.”

She said: “We’re expecting to hire up to 20 people locally at the site within the first five years, 12 within the first three. We’ll have a range of skilled and unskilled work in permanent, part-time and casual roles.”

An interior view of what the Tap Room will look like. Picture: @5HTAn interior view of what the Tap Room will look like. Picture: @5HT

She added: “We’re based in a tiny village, but we’re hoping to create a draw which will see people going into the other businesses around us like the theatre, and the new community arts centre. We want to give each other a boost as of a more social enterprise, and be more than the sum of our parts.”

Rural businesses in Norfolk or Suffolk can apply for a chunk of the £8.1m total between now and the deadline of September 27.

Projects must meet criteria including increasing farm productivity, diversification, rural tourism, rural services or heritage activities.

For more information, visit www.norfolklags.co.uk

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