Cornwall

St Austell Brewery in Cornwall secures £40m bank deal

A Cornish brewery has secured a £40m finance package with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Barclays bank in a bid to expand the company.

St Austell Brewery has 174 pubs and employs about 1,000 people.

The money will be used to purchase new sites, invest in its current pubs and explore new product ideas primarily in the South West, a spokesperson said.

More jobs at the brewery are expected to be created because of the agreement, they added.

Colin Stratton, finance director at the brewery, said: "If we find the right new sites and pubs it will certainly create jobs, although it's difficult to say how many at this stage.

"A number of banks were keen to lend us money... we were able to be choosey."

The company has an annual turnover of almost £100m and has been brewing beer and ale in Cornwall since 1851.

Mr Stratton said he believed the company was seen by the banks as a "good risk".

The company's pub estate began in 1863 and now spans Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, Devon and Somerset.

In 2011, it celebrated 160 years making beer and ale.

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