BREWING is set to return to Bradford city centre for the first time in almost 60 years under plans which should also secure the future of a historic industrial building and boost the night-time economy. The £400,000 move would see an initial production of 16,000 pints a week from the Bradford Brewery, which would operate along a new pub called The Brewfactory. Once the brewery is up and running visitors to the pub will be able to see beer being brewed thanks to a glass wall between the pub and brewery.
Funding for the scheme would come partly through a Bradford Council Growth Zone grant and Dragon’s Den star Doug Richards, who is supporting Bradford business man Matthew Halliday’s plans. Beer hasn’t been brewed in Bradford since 1955 when Hammonds Bradford Brewery closed its doors.
Mr Halliday is a former pub licensee who now works for a London-based health charity – he intends to split his time between Bradford and the capital.
The aim is to capitalise on the resurgence in interest in real ale and the development comes as independent brewers are enjoying a period of boom growth.
Mr Halliday said: “The idea to launch Bradford Brewery came from my love of London’s craft beer drinking scene. Yorkshire is slowly catching up but we’re a long way behind.
“I wanted to do something positive for Bradford and hope that Bradford Brewery will not only produce some great beers, but also help to change perceptions of our great city. There’s a huge amount of incredible innovation going on in Bradford right now and we’re excited to be playing a part in that. We’ve got long-term plans for the business and have aspirations of seeing Bradford beers on every bar across the district.”
Under Mr Halliday’s plans, the brewery and pub would be accommodated on staggered levels within the four storey building, with an internal glass wall to allow drinkers to watch the brewing process from the bar.
David Robertson-Brown, Director of Gumption Centres Ltd, works under contract for the Council within the Bradford City Centre Growth Zone. He said: “We’re delighted to be able to support Bradford Brewery – this is exactly the kind of business we want to see in the Bradford City Centre Growth Zone.
“Not only will the company be manufacturing their own product on site and supplying the trade, but they’ll also be adding to the city’s retail offer and helping to build Bradford’s night time economy. It will help generate footfall for other businesses on Westgate and should attract other property investments into the area.
“This is a quality scheme that will bring an empty building back into business use on a highly visible site and will create at least 11 new jobs for Bradford people.