From banker to butcher as The Butcher’s Quarter launches with £50k BFS Business Loan

Banker Steven Pilkington has opened The Butcher’s Quarter, the only artisan butcher’s shop in Manchester city centre, thanks to a £50k Business Loan from Business Finance Solutions (BFS) who are delivering a £24m fund designed to help businesses across Greater Manchester to find finance, grow, and create or protect jobs.

The Butcher’s Quarter on Tib Street in the Northern Quarter (@butchersquarter facebook.com/butchersquarter) will be the only artisan traditional butcher in Manchester city centre, following the closure of the last one in 2007. The shop stands on the site of a former butcher’s that closed in 1975 and Steven has preserved many of the premises’ original features such as the floor, walls and signage.

Steven, whose grandparents and great grandparents owned two butchers' shop in Accrington, will be running the shop with his partner Michelle Welshman and fourth generation butchers Mike Walton and Rowan Brown. The shop will be selling a range of premium and locally sourced on and off the bone meats, burgers and cooked meats, speciality sausages, deli products, premium wines and a range of gastro meals made by the resident butchers. All of The Butcher’s Quarter meat is sourced locally from North West farms to ensure full traceability and the shop also stocks other premium local produce including JJ Sandham’s cheese and The Real Lancashire Black Pudding.

Steven, who lives in the Northern Quarter and previously worked for two major UK banks, has wanted to launch his own business for many years and decided upon The Butcher’s Quarter as a great way to bring back a much needed resource to the city centre, located in an area that is home to a growing number of artisan and specialist food businesses. Earlier this year Steven was referred to Business Finance Solutions (BFS) with his business idea and they agreed £50k funding through their Business Loans programme. BFS is also continuing to work with Steven and his team to provide additional support including workshops and growth advice.

Steven said: “For years Manchester city centre has been missing a traditional butcher’s shop where people can buy fresh quality meat, find out where it came from, get advice on different cuts and how best to cook and serve it.People today really want to know the origins of their meat and how it has been prepared and that is exactly what The Butcher’s Quarter is able to do with our focus on quality and traceability and the skills of our butchers.

“With the help of the BFS Business Loan we have been able to bring this age old skill back into the city centre where we know there is a real demand for good quality food. Thanks to the loan we’ve been able to bring what was a great butcher’s shop back to life and resurrect it at the heart of the community.”

Paul Breen, Director of Business Finance Solutions, which is delivering the Business Loans in Greater Manchester, said:  “Steven typifies a real trend that we are seeing with start ups at the moment as more and more people decide to follow their business dream and access the support that is out there to enable them to change direction in their career completely. 

“Steven knows the Northern Quarter area of Manchester well and has seen a number of artisan and specialist businesses set up and flourish here. The quality and diversity of his business model, coupled with the finance and the practical support that we have worked closely with him to provide, put him in a great position to start, build and grow his business over many years to come.”

BFS Business Loans is a government-backed initiative that will see over £24m invested into growing businesses in Greater Manchester over the next 10 years. A condition of the loan is that it must create or protect jobs and typical loans are from £3k to £100k in value.

The Business Loans are designed to help businesses that have been unable to secure mainstream funding and to make it easier for entrepreneurs to access the finance they need to start up and grow their own enterprises.  Recipients of the BFS Business Loans can also be introduced to business mentors and to other business support services, which will be delivered by the Business Growth Hub. Find our more about the BFS Business Loans at www.business-finance-solutions.org.uk or by calling 0161 245 4737.