Vibrant Dales firms win expansion funding

Published 3rd March 2014 at 1:32pm

Two vibrant local firms are expanding thanks to funding from the Sheffield City Region and free business advice from Derbyshire Dales District Council.

Peak Ales, a thriving microbrewery based on the outskirts of the Chatsworth estate, and Holdsworth Chocolates of Bakewell have been offered funding from the Sheffield City Region Unlocking Business Investment Regional Growth Fund Programme.

The two firms are celebrating after sharing more than £100,000 funding – and both have benefited from free guidance from the District Council’s Derbyshire Dales Business Advice service to help them with their expansion plans and grant applications.

Peak Ales supply cask and bottled ales to pubs, hotels and retail outlets. With demand now exceeding production capacity at the company’s existing premises, they can now invest in additional premises, plant and equipment on a new site at Ashford in the Water.

Robert Evans, Peak Ales

Robert Evans, Peak Ales

Peak Ales’ growth plans will create up to five new jobs and the funding will be used to invest in a 20-barrel brewing facility, along with the associated costs of adaption and modification to the new premises.

Holdsworth Chocolates – makers of hand-made chocolates – are moving to a new factory unit at Deepdale in Bakewell. The funding will assist with new machinery, equipment and adaptations to the new premises. The business already supplies well known high end outlets, and, with increased production, Holdsworth hope to ultimately increase their workforce with up to five new staff.

Holdsworth’s David Sharples said:

“Our business has grown steadily over recent years and, although we had secured part funding for this, we needed a further cash injection to finish the project – this is where the Regional Growth Fund grant came in.

David Sharples, Confectioner

David Sharples, Holdsworth Chocolates

“However, without the accomplished advice and directive from the business team at Derbyshire Dales District Council, in particular the enthusiastic, down-to-earth encouragement and expert guidance of Heather, we would now be looking at a significant gap in our finances.

“On behalf of everybody at Holdsworth Chocolates, I want to thank the District Council’s business team for helping us achieve our goal.”

Heather Bradford said:

“It is a pleasure to help small businesses that are often put off by the application process for grants.  While these people are experts in their own field, they sometimes need help with the paperwork involved in putting together a bid.

“This new funding is great news for two local businesses that have worked tremendously hard to expand.  Both businesses should be congratulated on a successful outcome to their applications.”

Peak Ales and Holdsworth Chocolates join the growing number of businesses to benefit from the Sheffield City Region’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) ‘Unlocking Business Investment’ programme, which is currently helping 88 projects to grow and create local jobs.

By January 2014, the programme had allocated over £28 million, which led to over £190 million of investment in the Sheffield City Region. These projects are expected to create or safeguard over 3,000 local jobs by March 2016.

The LEP has just announced that it will be extending the deadline for applications to 31 March, and is calling on local businesses to visit the website to find out how they can apply. The web address is

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