A group of financiers, local industrialists and brewing specialists is being put together by local member of parliament, Derek Foster. If accepted by the owners, Swallow Group, the deal would save 750 jobs at the Sunderland and Sheffield sites.
Swallow put the breweries on sale with a number of tenanted pubs last year as it focused on hotels and managed pubs. A pounds 70m bid by the breweries' managing director, Frank Nicholson, failed this month; Swallow said it would get more by closing the breweries and selling the sites. Mr Nicholson is not involved in the new bid.