David Bruce, founder of the Firkin chain and Capital Pub Company, has taken a stake in the West Berkshire Brewery, which is looking to raise £5m through an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) to build its own pub estate and broaden the distribution of its beers, writes The Times.

Bruce, who is currently overseeing the expansion of the City Pub Company with Clive Watson, is set to become chairman of the business that was founded in 1995 by Dave and Helen Maggs.

He is reportedly investing £50,000 in the company through his Brew Securities vehicle in return for a small stake, but his holding could rise to 10% under an incentive scheme based on the amount of EIS funds that he helps to raise.

Bruce and Watson, who sold Capital to Greene King for £93m two years ago, have so far raised £17m of EIS funds for City Pub Company, acquiring eight pubs and two micro-breweries.