Craft gin producer Warner Edwards Distillery has secured £150,000 from HSBC after winning a national competition for small and medium-sized businesses.

The Northampton-based business, which sells its gin in John Lewis, Whole Foods, Marks & Spencer and Booths, will use the money to invest in new equipment and staff to increase production and fulfil larger orders. It is also planning to build a botanical garden next to its distillery to grow herbs and spices to flavour its gin.

Founding partner Tom Warner said: “This is a real game-changer for our business and will enable us to turbo-charge our growth plans.

“It means being able to invest in increasing our capacity much sooner than we’d planned so we can take advantage of the demand for gin globally. Our first task will be to strengthen our team and start to develop our markets overseas. This win gives us the confidence to move forward.”

More than 1,000 SMEs from across the UK entered the HSBC ‘Elevator Pitch’ competition, submitting a 90-second video pitch outlining how they would use £150,000 to grow their business.

Warner Edwards was one of 10 finalists to attend a two-day masterclass in London, where they received coaching and advice on how to improve their business, before repitching to an expert panel.

Martin Hanson, HSBC head of business banking in the Midlands, added: “The UK gin market is projected to be worth an estimated £1.3bn by 2020 and Warner Edwards is one of many craft gin distillers fighting for a share of that burgeoning market.

“Our judges recognised Warner Edwards’ potential to succeed in the UK but were also impressed with the business’s overseas ambitions. The prize money will help the business put in place the resources it needs to take on the competition in existing and new markets.”