Ilkley Brewery directors Christopher Ives (l) and Stewart Ross (r), pictured with Deborah Meaden

Ilkley Brewery was recently announced as the winner of the Local Business Accelerators (LBA) scheme at a ceremony in London.

Organised by the Newspaper Society (NS), the initiative is fronted by national ambassador and Dragons’ Den star, Deborah Meaden, and backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, Business Secretary Vince Cable, and CBI Director General John Cridland.

“This excellent initiative shows how local papers can support and energise some of the brilliant new British businesses in their area and really help them flourish”, said David Cameron. “By fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, these papers are not only nurturing local talent, but also playing a key part in encouraging economic growth from a local level upwards”.

Over 3,000 local businesses were judged on a series of criteria including the originality of the business idea, their ability to fend off competition, their finances and future prospects, their communication skills, their positive impact on the local community, and the potential benefit to the businesses of local newspaper advertising.

As winners, Ilkley Brewery will receive an ad campaign created by a top London ad agency as well as a year’s business mentoring from Deborah Meaden. “We’re hugely excited to be working with Deborah and gleaning as much knowledge and expertise as we can”, said Chris Ives, one of the brewery’s directors. 

“The Local Business Accelerators scheme has been a real success in linking up new entrepreneurial talent with business mentors from the local community”, said Vince Cable: “Business mentoring is a vital part of starting and growing your enterprise as the advice comes from someone who has been there and done it before. Regional media can play an important role in forging great business relationships.”

Also on the national judging panel headed by Deborah Meaden were: Helen Loveless, Mail on Sunday business editor; Stephen Welton, Business Growth Fund chief executive; Graham Goodkind, Frank PR founder; Al Young, St Luke’s creative director; and Lynne Anderson, NS communications and marketing director.



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