Ilkley Brewery Wins Local Business Accelerators Award
West Yorkshire’s Ilkley Brewery has fought off over 3,000 businesses to become the winner of the Local Business Accelerators Scheme.
The competition, announced in October last year, (see Win a Year’s Mentoring with Dragon Deborah Meaden) opened to young businesses, between one and three years old, that were active in their community and were supported by their local newspaper, in this case the Yorkshire Post.
The Ilkley Brewey, established in March 2009, was set up by its three directors, Chris Ives, Richard Shelton and Stewart Ross, none of whom had any previous experience in the brewing industry. Each year since the inception of the brewery, business turnover has doubled.
By winning the LBA scheme, Ilkley Brewery now has a year of mentoring courtesy of the scheme’s ambassador, judge and star of Dragons’ Den, Deborah Meaden.
Speaking of the competition, Meaden said:
“It is a great pleasure to be involved with the campaign. The judges have seen hundreds of promising young businesses and entrepreneurs accelerate after receiving a powerful boost from local newspaper advertising through the Local Business Accelerators scheme. I am very much looking forward to working closely with The Ilkley Brewery to help develop their business further.”
Judged on a set of criteria including original business ideas, competitiveness, finances, prospects, communication skills and positive impact on the local community, The Ilkley Brewey also receives an ad campaign by a top London ad agency.
Prime Minister, David Cameron, who backed the scheme added:
“Congratulations to all the Local Business Accelerators winners.”
“This excellent initiative shows how local papers can support and energise some of the brilliant new British businesses in their area and really help them flourish.”
“By fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, these papers are not only nurturing local talent, but also playing a key part in encouraging economic growth from a local level upwards.”
“I wish all the young businesses that took part in Local Business Accelerators all the best for the future and hope that they continue to benefit from their participation in the scheme.”
Business Secretary, Vince Cable, also praised the LBA scheme, adding:
“The Local Business Accelerators scheme has been a real success in linking up new entrepreneurial talent with business mentors from the local community. Business mentoring is a vital part of starting and growing your enterprise as the advice comes from someone who has been there and done it before.
“The Government is backing the search for more volunteer mentors by launching the mentorsme portal, providing access to thousands of business mentors. Regional media can play an important role in forging great business relationships and I would like to congratulate all of the finalists of this inspiring competition.”
As well as the national winner, there were other prizes for the runners up, including:
- Certificate of Merit for handmade gourmet chocolate fudge makers Fudge Fancies
- Highly Commended award to Boozeberries who make premium berry liquer.
- The People’s Choice Award to gadget recycling firm Gadgets4Everyone and
- Best LBA Newspaper Campaign to Cornwall and Devon Media who ran an "outstanding" LBA campaign
For an opportunity to work with your local newspaper and win a fantastic prize next year, keep an eye on the LBA scheme homepage.