The Wild Beer Co has recently purchased extra brewing capacity and a new bottling line from Devon firm, Vigo, with the help of a grant from the REG Programme and the Rural Development Programme for England. The brewery, based in the village of Westcombe in Somerset is only 18 months old but has already exported to over a dozen countries with growing demand in the US, southern Europe and Scandinavia.
MD Andrew Cooper applied for a grant from the REG Programme, "the bottling process had become a real bottle-neck for the business, and with growing demand we knew we had to find some new equipment. The grant and support we have received from the REG Programme has meant that we have bought a really good piece of equipment and allowed us to grow our capacity, which will allow us to confidently plan our growth over the next few years and has meant that we have already added 4 people to the team in the last couple of months."
"The project was supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in Rural areas. It has been grant funded through the REG Programme delivered by Devon County Council on behalf of the Heart of the South-West Local Enterprise Partnership."
The new bottling line allows the Wild Beer Co to increase bottle production to over 1500 bottles an hour. Brewing Director Brett Ellis commented "Far too often we had found ourselves bottling long into the night to get orders ready to go out, the new equipment means we can achieve a more consistent quality to our bottling in a fraction of the time. We are very pleased to have worked with Vigo on this, as they have helped us make the right decisions on the specifications we needed and they offer an unrivalled training package and after-care."
£1m was secured from DEFRA / RDPE to provide capital grants to micro-businesses in rural Devon and Somerset, under the Rural Enterprise Grant Programme (REG).
The Heart of the South West REG Programme will be run by Devon County Council and is open to micro-enterprises in rural Devon and Somerset. Micro-enterprises are a vital component of the Devon and Somerset rural economy representing approximately 90% of the business base. The REG will support our rural micro-enterprises to develop, expand and stimulate economic growth, innovation and employment opportunities. This will help ensure that our rural communities remain active and vibrant places in which to live and work.