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Craft gin wins £150,000 prize

A craft gin producer has secured £150,000 in prize money after winning out over 1,000 other entrants in a national competition for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Founding partners Tom Warner and Sion Edwards (Photo: Warner Edwards)

Warner Edwards Distillery, based in Northampton, England, won the Elevator Pitch’ contest run by HSBC bank after impressing judges with its “vision for growth” and “innovative approach” to product development.

The company will use the £150,000 prize money to invest in new equipment and staff to increase production and fulfil larger orders and export abroad, it said in a statement.

It is also planning to build a botanical garden next to its distillery in the village of Harrington to grow herbs and spices to flavour its gin.

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

The Elevator Pitch involves a company submitting a 90-second video pitch outlining how a it would use £150,000 to grow their business.

Warner Edwards was one of 10 finalists from across the country to attend a two-day masterclass in London, where it received coaching and advice before pitching again to an expert panel.

Martin Hanson, HSBC’s head of business banking in the Midlands region, said: “The UK gin market is projected to be worth an estimated £1.3 billion 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.”

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