Leeds-based brewer and bar chain secures £375,000 funding as business grows internationally
The UK’s largest independent invoice financier, Bibby Financial Services (BFS), has struck a deal with North Brewing Company Ltd for a £375,000 confidential invoicing discounting (CID) package, to support the business’s cashflow and enable the founders to focus on future growth.
The Leeds-based business started its life as North Bar on New Briggate high street, which was founded in 1997 by John Gyngell and Christian Townsley. After opening several more bars, the pair’s passion for great beer led them to found North Brewing Co in 2015, brewing their own range of local craft beers which continues to expand.
North now operates 10 bars across Yorkshire, Birmingham and Manchester and produces around 20 thousand hectolitres of beer every year which is sold into supermarkets, restaurants, and bars all over the world.
As the business continues to grow and supply an ever-increasing number of domestic and international customers, the new funding line from BFS will allow North’s co-founders to manage cashflow, so they can focus on planning ahead and growing the business.
To facilitate the transaction, the business was introduced to BFS’s commercial team by Conor Smyth at TFS Finance Ltd, an independent commercial finance brokerage focused on the SME market.
BFS’s Yorkshire-based deal-team – led by Ian Hayes – structured a confidential invoice discounting funding facility worth £375,000. BFS was chosen due to its speed, agility and understanding of the business’s needs.
John Gyngell, director and co-founder of North Brewing Co, commented: “We’re so proud of where our business is today, in large part thanks to our great staff and a lot of love from our customers and community. But, as a business owner, cashflow is a daily concern, especially over the past 12 months. It’s been a really tough year for the brewing industry, due to a combination of challenges, such as the rising cost of grain, energy, shipping, and the impact of Brexit on international business operations.”
“In order to grow the business, we need to be able to focus on the future, rather than just respond to the day to day. We really appreciated BFS’s commitment to understanding our business, and quickly coming back to us with a solution. BFS’s funding and support gives us the breathing space to concentrate on what we’re best at, plan ahead for business growth over the next few years and have more time to enjoy the day job.”
North has been growing its business and operations over the past few years. In 2020, the business signed a lease for a larger, 21,000 sq ft former Victorian Tannery in Springwell, Leeds, which they converted into a modern brewery, taproom and workspace during the pandemic – and which now serves as the business’s HQ.
The mid-sized brewery has also been expanding its footprint, with beers now stocked in leading supermarkets and restaurants across the UK, and sold abroad, including in markets such as Japan, China and Australia. Within the past year, North has opened its first two bars outside of Yorkshire, in Birmingham and Manchester, and has launched its own beer festival, Springwell Sessions at its brewery site – with the second iteration due to take place at the end of April 2023.
Conor Smyth, senior funding partner at TFS Finance, commented: “North Brewing Co has seen huge success over the past 26 years in its local bars and brewing operations, and is also seeing growing national and international demand. This has made managing cashflow a much bigger task, especially considering the challenging economic landscape. The BFS team were great partners to work with, as they demonstrated their ability to tap into the business’s needs and deliver a suitable funding line in just a couple of weeks.”
Ian Hayes, business development manager at BFS commented: “It’s been a pleasure to work with North Brewing Co and TFS Finance to provide this funding line. North has been incredibly resilient over the past few years, but as the business and external challenges have become more complex, the business’s leaders have seen their time and energy eaten up thinking about cashflow. We quickly worked to understand their needs and pressures and deliver a funding line that would take the weight off John and Christian’s shoulders and minds, so they can focus on the future of the business. BFS is in growth mode, and our partnership with North Brewing Co is a great example of us working hand-in-hand with our valued intermediary base and with our clients to unlock working capital for growth.”