Mash Paddle Brewery

Mash Paddle Brewery

About Mash Paddle Brewery

Nick Harkin set up Mash Paddle Brewery as a social enterprise to operate a microbrewery and taproom.

He wanted to make a Brewery with a couple of key differences – it would be open to the public, who could use professional quality kit to make their own beer, and would create job opportunities for people with criminal convictions.

Next steps

He had discussions with National Rail for a specific site to open his social enterprise, however needed to liaise with Southwark Council regarding a potential change of use of the site he was hoping to operate from.

Nick heard about our programme through his local authority newsletter. He then registered and attended a Property Advice Service webinar as well as requested a one-to-one session with a consultant from Gerald Eve.

Impact on the business

Nick summarised his experience from the programme into two parts. He found the webinar offered startup advice around business rates and understanding leases for new entrepreneurs like himself. In addition, it highlighted the key financial and legal support packages the government had put in place to lessen the impact of Covid-19 on existing businesses.

The second part involved getting specific advice from the one- to-one session. This was invaluable for Nick. He gained a better understanding of certain phrases and terminologies regarding leases, and the impact of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

The PAS consultant also offered advice on the strategies he could use to get a better deal in key areas such as rent holidays, rent reviews, break clauses and length of lease. The consultant also advised on whether or not he needed to apply for planning permission to change the use of the site.


With the help of the service, Nick realised he had the technical knowledge to make immediate decisions and was in a strong negotiating position with his landlord. For example, he was able to negotiate a six-month rent-free period and a longer lease that was initially being offered.

He also agreed with his landlord that the lease would not come into effect until the premises licence was approved. Nick went ahead and changed the use of the property without submitting a planning application – it was not considered necessary.

Nick commented that renting a commercial property is very different to renting a residential property. From his point of view the Property Advice Service delivered a win-win situation in terms of giving him the knowledge and confidence to protect his investment, while getting a better deal from his new landlord.

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