Ironbridge Brewery relocates and expands thanks to LEP grant
Microbrewery raises a glass to expansion and job creation The recently re-opened Pheasant Inn in Wellington, Shropshire has become the new home of the Ironbridge Brewery which has launched its new…
Microbrewery raises a glass to expansion and job creation
The recently re-opened Pheasant Inn in Wellington, Shropshire has become the new home of the Ironbridge Brewery which has launched its new microbrewing facility in a former redundant building adjacent to the pub. The move has been made possible thanks to a Redundant Buildings Grant from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Established in 2007, Ironbridge Brewery has worked in partnership with Everards, a brewing and pub operating company, with whom it already collaborates on the award winning “Old Fighting Cocks” in Oakengates, to bring another pub back to life. Under an arrangement whereby Everards has purchased the pub, Ironbridge Brewery is able to operate it under a relaxed tie around cask ales allowing it sell its own brews alongside those of Everards.
However, with microbrewing at its heart, Ironbridge Brewery also had its sights on the long-term home of its brewing facilities and with the lease on its existing premises due to expire, The Pheasant Inn not only offered the opportunity to bring an old pub back to life, but also provided a home for the brewery in the form of its disused function room in an outbuilding.
Director of Ironbridge Brewery, David Goldingay explains the role the grant played in facilitating the move to The Pheasant Inn: “Whilst the decision to re-open the pub was something we could only consider by partnering with Everards, the decision to relocate the brewing business was only feasible with the contribution of the Redundant Buildings Grant.
“Moving a brewery isn’t easy to do and the sheer size and amount of equipment involved means it’s both a logistical and very costly expense. Simply, the grant has off-set a lot of this cost and made the move from Ironbridge possible.”
The building that has been converted had an eclectic past as both the function room of the pub, as well as time as a Greek restaurant. However it had suffered from significant amounts of damp that had compromised the safety of the roof, damaged all the walls, floors and ceilings, and caused dangerous levels of damage to the electrics and heating system. The work needed to bring the building up to a state that made it fit for purpose was therefore extensive. As well as structural safety work, the nature of the premises needed for brewing equipment meant that parts of the floor needed to be removed for the installation of tanks, as well as the removal of stud partition walls that were no longer required.
Following some initial delays caused by the discovery of asbestos in the main pub building, worked commenced on the outbuilding in March and the first pint was ready at the start of June.
Graham Wynn, Chairman of the Marches LEP, comments on the relocation of Ironbridge Brewery and the role played by the Redundant Building Grant: “The survival of local pubs is a story we’re all too familiar with so it’s encouraging to hear when one is given a new lease of life. However, the fact that the £20,520 grant from the Redundant Buildings Scheme has facilitated the relocation and continued success of the Ironbridge Brewery undoubtedly completes this good news story.
“Simply, converting the disused building for the brewery to operate from has made the pub itself more viable as one will act as a draw for the other. This means that not only has there been the safeguarding and creation of jobs at the brewery but in the pub as well.”
David concludes: “When we found out about the grant it made the move of the brewery to The Pheasant Inn a lot more viable and meant we didn’t have to take on a loan with high interest rates. The grant team was supportive and made the whole process pretty painless – and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t like paperwork!
“Our relocation has not only safeguarded our existing three full time employees, but also allowed the brewery to create two new jobs (one full and one part time), and the knock on effect for the pub which is now significantly more attractive is that the equivalent of five full time roles have been created there too!”
To find out more about the Redundant Buildings Grant Scheme, contact Caroline Cattle, Redundant Building Grant Manager, on 01432 260662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org