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  • Two Entrepreneurs Open 2nd Gin Bar with £65k Funding from MSIF

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Lifelong friends Gavin Williams and James Kennedy have opened a new Gin bar, Allotment Birkdale, with assistance from MSIF.

The friends realised their ambition of setting up a bar together when they opened Allotment in the Northern Quarter of Manchester in Summer 2014.

The Northern Quarter bar quickly became a go-to award winning venue and the pair have been looking for opportunities to grow their business ever since, and were particularly interested in finding a suitable location in Merseyside.

Williams and Kennedy found the ex HSBC Bank premises on Liverpool Road in Birkdale, and saw it as the perfect venue to open their next Allotment bar.

The duo needed £65k of funding to complete their venture in the newly found premises, which was provided by MSIF, Liverpool based loan and equity provider.

The funding allowed for a full refurbishment of the venue, transforming the bank building into a botanically themed Gin bar and restaurant.

The bar has retained numerous features from the old bank, including the grand marble floor and the bank vault.

The vault, which was previously a working safe for the bank, has been transformed into a snug; a separate, exclusive dining area for groups of 10-12 people.

Williams and Kennedy have a combined 25 years of work within the food and beverage industry and have plans to grow the Allotment brand and open a number of themed bars and restaurants across the UK.

Allotment Birkdale is open all day, 7 days a week, serving different menus throughout the day.

Gavin Williams, Allotment Birkdale Director, said: “We have spent 3 years refining the Allotment brand in Manchester and have found the feedback to be phenomenal. Birkdale is a beautiful village full of independent traders who work together to create a vibrant and buzzing community; and it is an honour to be part of that. Our ambition is to continue growing the Allotment throughout the country, with Liverpool City Centre being the home of Allotment number 3.”

James Kennedy, Allotment Birkdale Director, said: “We had a very busy Summer with visitors from far and wide thanks to The British Open. We’re now looking forward to Allotment Birkdale’s first Winter.”

“MSIF were amazing throughout the process. Andy Jones dealt with us from day one and we found the whole process to be very easy and transparent. We have built up a very strong relationship which is both professional and informal at the same time; this really suits the way Gavin and myself like to do business.”

Andy Jones, MSIF Investment Manager, said: “Allotment Birkdale brings a unique offering of food and drink to Birkdale Village. Both Gavin and James have masses of experience within the industry. Their innovative ideas and previous success have put them in a great position for making Allotment Birkdale a great bar for the area. It has been great to work with them both and I’m really excited to see how the venture progresses.”

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