North Brewing opened a new £2.3m brewery and taproom in 2020

North Brewing is actively seeking investment to secure its future, after solicitors acting on behalf of the Leeds-based brewery filed notice of intent (NOI) to appoint administrators.

Weightmans, a London-based law firm, filed NOIs for North Brewing Limited, North Brewing Management and the company’s 4-strong taproom estate North Brewing Leisure Limited on 15 January.

Approached by The Grocer, North Brewing co-founder Christian Townsley confirmed the filings had been made on its behalf.

He said: “We’re currently working with advisors and have recently commenced a process to seek additional investment into our business, which will secure the security of our staff and the business as well as push forward with plans for 2024 and beyond.”

The North Brewing director said “all North Bar venues” were unaffected and continued to trade.

He added he hoped to be able to share an update on the future of the North Brewing business “in the coming days”.

Townsley cited “the turbulence of Covid, Brexit, material cost increases, cost of living crisis and interest rate rises” as reasons why additional funding was require to secure its future.

“Due to the commercial nature of the discussions, we can’t say more but will keep you updated as soon as we can share further details,” he added.

Asked for further detail about North Brewing’s financial situation and the extent of its debts, Townsley declined to comment.

In 2020, the business opened a new £2.3m brewery and taproom that expanded its annual brewing capacity from 8,000hl a year to 45,000hl.

Accounts filed at Companies House for the year ended 31 March 2022 showed North Brewing was lossmaking and had debts of £2.8m due within a year.

This included bank loans obtained through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which carried a variable interest rate of 6.06% over the Bank of England base rate.

The company elected not to disclose its income for the year, though co-founder and director John Gyngell wrote in his directors’ report that its turnover had grown by more than 45%.

Gyngell said North Brewing “remained strong and resilient” and had “weathered the storm of Covid, emerging with no rent or crown debts”.

“We believe that the coming months and years will see a once in a lifetime opportunity for businesses that have survived and thrived through the chaos, we are one of them,” he said. “We are currently expanding our brewing capacity at Springwell and have opened our taproom to huge acclaim.”

North Brewing’s beers are stocked nationally with Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.

It was founded in 2015 by Townsley and Gyngell. The duo met at university and together opened their first venue, North Bar, in Leeds City centre in 1997.

The combined North Bar and North Brewing hospitality division now encompasses venues across Leeds and the surrounding areas, as well as in Birmingham and Manchester.