A YORK brewery is set for expansion to serve new supply deals after tapping in to financial support from a regional lender.

The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) has loaned more than £132,000 to four artisan breweries, including Tockwith-based Rudgate Brewery.

Rudgate has now worked with BEF for more than three years, receiving funding and advice to support its continuing expansion. A recent Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund loan of £45,000 was given to help Rudgate Brewery raise the capital needed after securing a contract to supply a range of bottled beer for Virgin Trains.

Managing director at Rudgate Brewery, Craig Lee, said: “Backing from BEF has been fundamental for our growth plans, arranging finance and top-ups to support our expansion after we secured deals with Wetherspoons and Greene King.

“The funding allowed us to develop our vast selection of core and seasonal beer through investment in staff and equipment.”

As the micro-brewing industry continues to grow across the UK , BEF, which is a social enterprise offering funding and mentoring for businesses across Yorkshire and the North East. has witnessed an increase in the demand for start-up loans and finance to support the expansion of existing facilities.

Huddersfield-based Lords Brewing and Gateshead-based Great North Eastern Brewing have also received BEF funding for recruitment, equipment, transport and ingredients, while the UK’s first wheat beer brewery, Eyes Brewing in Leeds, approached BEF for funding after two years of home brewing to develop its products.

Group chief executive at the BEF, Stephen Waud, said: “The craft brewing industry is booming and never more than in Yorkshire and the North East. BEF has the funding and the expertise to play an instrumental role in supporting the expansion of several breweries which have true entrepreneurial spirit at their heart and a real head for business. We’re simply facilitating their growth and looking forward to watching their continued success in this incredibly competitive market.”