A BREWERY in Bournemouth is worried it may have to close after seeing its bills and business rates rise by thousands of pounds. 

Bosses at Poole Hill Brewery, in Poole Hill, Bournemouth, are facing an uncertain future with electricity bills sharply rising from £600 per month in December 2022 to £2,800 a month. 

On top of that, its business rates are to increase from £4,179 to £15,818 per year – numbers which the brewery’s manager Jennifer Tingay said are “unjust” as sales have not increased to compensate. 

Chief executive Jennifer said: “With the number of vacant business properties in the town and the reduced footfall on Poole Hill, which is also visibly affecting the other businesses on the street, we feel as if the rates have gone up to compensate for the overall loss of rateable revenue in the town, which doesn’t seem fair to us. 

“We are very proud of our brewery. We have saved a historic building and created a successful business that makes quality real ales and supports the local community.  

“We have also provided jobs and training for staff who love brewing, but we feel like we are being penalised by the government and the energy companies.

Read more: Poole Hill Brewery is our Pub of the Week

“We are facing a huge financial pressure that could force us to close if we don’t find a way to lower it or find some investment to keep going through it.” 

She added the current bills were brought down by 50 per cent after she shopped around.

The brewery, which started in 2012 in Lyme Regis, moved into its restored premises in Poole Hill in 2017 after raising £250,000 from investors.  

It is calling for further investment to help keep it afloat – or else bosses will have to look for a buyer for the business as they are now losing money. 

Jennifer said she would prefer to keep her brewery independent and local, but she may have to consider other options if she doesn’t find a solution soon. 

Poole Hill Brewery, which was awarded silver at the International Brewing Awards, offers live music nights six nights a week, with genres including jazz, folk, rock and more. 

Jennifer added: “People travel for miles to visit the brewery and enjoy its beers and music. We also often get tourists visit who tell us they come back to holiday in Bournemouth so they can spend their evenings in the taproom, which is fantastic.  

“That is everything we wanted from the business, we’re just working people trying to use our abilities in small business, without the restrictions that large corporations impose.”