A Leicestershire brewery is raising a glass to the Food and Drink iNet (Innovation Network) after being given a grant to help with expansion plans.

Langton Brewery Ltd at Thorpe Langton, near Market Harborough, has launched a new service offering personalised bottles of beer following a grant from the iNet, which is run by trade organisation The Food and Drink Forum.

At the same time, the company has also invested in new printing and bottle-labelling machines to make it more efficient.

The brewery, which currently employs four people, hopes the move will boost business and allow it to employ another person.

“The Food and Drink iNet aims to support innovation within the East Midlands food and drink sector, and this is an excellent example of a business looking to introduce new ways of working and new products,” said Richard Worrall, director of the Food and Drink iNet.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the iNet offers business advice to the sector, and aims to build on the tradition of innovation in the food and drink industry in the region by helping to create opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, and to help research, develop and implement new products, markets, services and processes.

The iNet awarded a £2,895 grant to Langton Brewery Ltd towards the investment of just over £7,000 in the expansion project.

“We anticipate that, by being more IT-accessible, by offering this bespoke service, and by having an in-house labelling facility, we will be able to develop a new part of the market, expand and respond quickly to customer needs, improve our efficiency and increase profit margins,” said Langton Brewery director Alistair Chapman.

“We would like to thank the Food and Drink iNet for the support we have received.”

The brewery, which supplies to retail, wholesale, pub, food service and mobile/party bar customers, has now developed its website to take online orders for personalised bespoke bottles of beer.

It will help the company to move into the gift market, which is a new area for the business.

Previously the brewery hand-labelled 30,000 bottles a year with pre-printed labels, but the additional investment in printing and labelling machines will be far more efficient, added Mr Chapman.

The Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by the Food and Drink Forum and including Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham. It is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region to offer a range of support to small and medium-sized enterprises that work in the sector.  

For more information about The Food and Drink iNet visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR www.perfect10pr.co.uk