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Isle of Skye Brewing Company looks to crowdfunding

posted Dec 6, 2014, 2:15 PM by J Shaw   [ updated Dec 6, 2014, 2:16 PM ]
Isle of Skye Brewing Company has turned to the increasingly popular crowdfunding method of raising cash to fund expansion plans.

It aims to raise at least £150,000. some of which will go towards a new visitor centre at the firm’s base in Uig.

More than £11,000 has already been donated by 15 investors since bidding went live this week on crowdfunding site Squareknot.

The brewery has been up and running since 1995 and is projected to turn over £800,000 in this financial year, 28% up on 2013.

It is looking to attract relatively small sums from a large number of people to fund a doubling of its business by 2017.

Owners propose to raise cash through a combination of equity and reward crowdfunding, and this will be supplemented by debt and grant support from existing banking arrangements and Highland and Islands Enterprise.

As well as gaining equity and shareholder voting and dividend rights, investors will receive benefits-in-kind, including discounts on the brewery’s range of craft beers, priority access to limited lines, a say in the creation and naming of new beers and free entry to the visitor centre.

Crowdfunding offers prospective investors either rewards for products and services or equity in the form of non-tradeable shares in a business in return for a loan based on a fixed-rate of return.

It also allows for donations, where money is pledged for no specific tangible return.

The relatively new form of fundraising has proved successful in helping businesses with a loyal customer base to raise capital.

The Isle of Skye brand is already well established, with its beers supplied to 380 licensed premises across the UK, including major chains such as Wetherspoons.

Managing director Kenny Webster said: “We have exciting and ambitious plans for the Isle of Skye Brewery and we are offering our valued customers the opportunity to be part of our expansion.”

Mr Webster is the firm’s majority shareholder. He previously co-owned north-east soft drink firm Sangs, which fell into administration and was sold to Florida-based Cott Beverages in 2012.

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