Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ambitious Pair Brewing Plan for Further Success

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ambitious Pair Brewing Plan for Further Success

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Knox

ACOUPLE have taken the bold step of buying out one of the North East's most famous micro breweries. They now plan to expand it to help create a wider range of beers and become one of the first breweries in the country to host weddings.

Heather and Gary Scott - who have between them more than 30 years' experience working in the catering and management trade - have purchased High House Farm Brewery and visitor centre in Matfen, Northumberland.

The pair say buying the business has enabled them to save all existing jobs and that by extending the opening hours of the restaurant they will be able to employ more staff.

They are now expanding the visitors' centre to take in weddings, with the first booked for March next year, and are looking to create a handful of jobs to add to their 15-strong workforce.

They decided to take on the business after its founder, Steve Urwin, struggled to take an active role as well as meet his responsibilities as a business adviser at regional development agency One North East and work on his nearby 200-acre farm.

Mrs Scott has kept Mr Urwin's wife, Sally, on to handle its accounts and has maintained its team of master brewers who have been responsible for bestsellers Matfen Magic, Old Hemp and Nel's Best.

The couple are also planning to build an extension at the brewery, which would allow them to brew four batches of beer a day - up from the two they currently produce.

While Mrs Scott, who is originally from Essex, will manage the business day to day, her husband, from nearby Stamfordham in Northumberland, will act as an adviser while continuing his job as a builder.

Heather said: "It was very important for us to keep everyone's jobs safe which we have managed to do and we have plans to grow the business further. "It's a very exciting time for us. …

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