Brewery to invest £1.5m in quayside venture
A vacant warehouse building on Exeter Quay is set to be transformed into a new pub and micro-brewery.
St Austell Brewery plans to invest £1.5 million in converting the derelict 19th-century warehouse after buying it on a leasehold basis from Exeter City Council.
The building in Commercial Road where St Austell Brewery plans to open a pub/restaurant and micro-brewery. The building in Commercial Road was formerly home to Havana nightclub but has been empty for about two years.
St Austell Brewery is currently revising a planning application for the stone building and hopes to begin renovation works in early 2014, with the as-yet unnamed pub opening by next summer.
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Adam Luck, estate director for St Austell Brewery, said: "We are delighted to have acquired a new site in this vibrant area of Exeter where there is such a lot of development right now with new venues on the Quay and the recently opened Haven Banks activity centre just across the bridge on the other side of the river.
"This is a historic, waterside building that has been empty for two years and is now completely derelict. We are looking forward to transforming it into a brand new pub and restaurant, bringing a new and exciting venue to the area for people visiting Exeter's popular Quay to enjoy."
The two-storey building dates back to the late 19th century when it was built as a bonded cellar. It has been empty for two years, having previously been used as warehouses, and more recently housing a variety of nightclubs.
The ground floor includes a 3,117 sq ft main area and 586 sq ft unit alongside, which will be transformed into a pub-restaurants with a small craft beer micro brewery.
The first floor will be sub-let and used to create five residential flats.
St Austell Brewery has been brewing real ale in Cornwall since 1851, and runs 168 pubs, hotels and inns across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.
It has bought five new pubs in the last year, and completed a £2 million investment in a new cask operations plant at its base.
The brewery aims to add five pubs to its estate every year with a strategy of disposing of outlets that do not perform well. It is seeking to expand its footprint in Somerset, particularly in Bristol and Bath, as well as seeking to increase export levels.
Its managing director, James Staughton, is the great-great-grandson of St Austell Brewery founder Walter Hicks, and the current chairman of the Independent Family Brewers of Britain organisation.