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English vineyard secures cash boost

A leading chartered accountancy firm has helped an East Sussex vineyard secure £200,000 for a winery.

Having spent the past three years getting their vineyard ‘Off The Line’ up and running, founders Ann-Marie Tynan and Kristina Studzinski turned their attention to developing a winery in order to produce high-quality rosé on-site.

Off The Line has been a client of Knill James since 2013, receiving advice and support regarding business plans, VAT and tax implications and grant funding, so naturally turned to the firm for advice regarding additional funding.

Knill James partner Suzanne Craig has worked with the couple from the start of their adventure, and put them in touch with a specialist commercial broker who approached several banks on their behalf. Barclays proved the best fit and having visited the vineyard and reviewed the winery business plans, approved £200,000 of funding.

Founder Kristina said: “We’re so excited about the new winery. It will help put Off The Line on the map, enabling us to produce our own wine, which we’re really excited about. Our first bottles, produced by a winery in Surrey, will be hitting the market in spring 2017 and by October, we’ll be pressing our own grapes! We’ve got big ambitions to make the best red and rosé wines in England.

“We have used local firms with relevant expertise every step of the way, from the purchase of the land, expert accountancy and business development advice, brokering the loan, surveying the land and designing the winery.”

Knill James’ Suzanne Craig added: “I was delighted to assist Off The Line to secure funding for its new winery. Starting up a vineyard is not an easy task – there aren’t many business models which require start-up finance to last three or four years before any return is produced!

“This makes it even more important to take advantage of all the tax reliefs available, and of course, to ensure that the advice received comes from those with experience in the sector. I’m extremely proud to have assisted Ann-Marie and Kristina to get Off The Line to this stage, and I’m sure the vineyard and winery will be a huge success.”

For more information, please visit www.knilljames.co.uk.

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