Ale producer converts micro-brewery into visitor centre with £220,000 funding deal

An artisan producer of real ale in Derbyshire has secured a £222,000 funding package to convert its old micro-brewery into a visitor centre.

The new Peak Ales Visitor Centre, located on the Chatsworth Estate, was previously used as its main micro-brewery plant where it had operated since its launch in 2005.

The refurbished visitor centre now hosts a smaller microbrewery, tasting room and gift shop for visitors, which officially opened to the public in July after the microbrewery was installed.

The funding for the project came from HSBC UK, as well as a contribution from The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

Robert Evans, managing director of Peak Ales, said: “In 2014, HSBC UK provided a business loan that enabled us to upgrade our brewing equipment and move the main brewery to a new purpose-built premises in Ashford in the Water.

“We wanted to bring the space at the original plant back to life, preserving its history and heritage. With the support of our relationship manager at HSBC UK, Jack Stone, we’ve been able to convert our original brewery into a consumer-friendly visitor centre. Our original site means a great deal to the business and we hope that our customers enjoy it as much as we do.”

David Tomlinson, HSBC UK’s area director for business banking in the East Midlands, said: “HSBC UK is actively supporting Great British businesses and Peak Ales is no exception. Since its inception in 2005 we’ve watched the company go from strength-to-strength and increase annual turnover from £80,000 to £700,000, a 775% uplift. We wish Robert and his team the best as they move forward with this exciting new facility.”