Groundbreaking new grant scheme helps distillery brew a bright future
"The Adapt & Diversify grant gave us the scope and confidence to do what was needed."
An independent artisan spirits producer based in Stratford-upon Avon is well-equipped to move forward again following the pandemic after benefiting from a new grant scheme from Warwickshire County Council.
Shakespeare Distillery applied for support from the council's Adapt & Diversify grants scheme which is designed to help businesses adapt to future challenges as COVID restrictions ease.
In the first round of the scheme, 52 successful applicants collectively secured over £600,000 of funding to help them face the future with renewed confidence. Details of a second round will be released soon.
In the case of Shakespeare Distillery, a £20,000 grant was deployed in three very different ways which will not only help the business deal with the current challenges but also have significant benefits in the medium and long terms.
"The Adapt & Diversify Grant has been a huge help to us in three ways," said Director Peter Monks.
"We get a lot of requests from customers for personalised labels for birthdays and other special occasions, so some of the funding went on a high-quality printer which will enable us to put personalised gift messages on our products in a really polished way.”
“The grant also enabled us to improve our website, which is vital because e-commerce will be so important in the months and years ahead. I think, like a lot of businesses, we had quietly forgotten about the website, assuming it was just doing its job, but actually it badly needed updating. It is essential for a small business to have an online presence that punches its weight, and ours will certainly do that after the update. It will be much more attractive and will give us more visibility on Google thanks to the specialist advice we accessed via the grant.
"The funding also went towards new equipment to help with the production of a series of new Warwickshire rums, named Jester which we have just launched. The grant has helped us retrofit a piece of equipment to our 500-litre still ‘Ophelia’ and then it became clear that we also needed greater storage capacity, so we have also acquired some new storage drums.”
"After a tough year these improvements would probably have had to wait without the council support, but the Adapt & Diversify grant gave us the
scope and confidence to do what was needed. Now we are in the best possible place to move forward again and are aiming to recruit additional staff in the coming months."
For more information about Warwickshire County Council's Adapt & Diversify grants please visit here.
For more information about Shakespeare Distillery please visit http://www.shakespearedistillery.com/