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No bull: Bradford to get a new brewery

Added: Monday, July 14th 2014

Bradford brewery

Ambitious plans have been unveiled to create a new state-of-the-art brewery and brewpub in the heart of Bradford city centre The launch of Bradford Brewery will see the return of brewing to the city centre for the first time since the closure of Hammonds Bradford Brewery in 1955.

Bradford Brewery and its attached pub, the Brewfactory, will be launched later this year following the restoration of a historic disused industrial building off Westgate. The 10-barrel brewery will have an initial production capacity of 16,000 pints a week.

The £400,000 brewery project is part-funded by a grant from Bradford Council Growth Zone - a £35m initiative to attract businesses back into the city centre and to equip the local community with the skills they need to get jobs. The grant money will go towards refurbishing the building and buying the equipment.

The entrepreneur behind the new brewery, former pub licensee Matthew Halliday (centre in picture with, left, David Robertson of Bradford City Growth Zone and, right, David Craig of David Craig Design, who designed the plant), believes there’s a fast-growing local and national market for interesting and innovative craft-brewed lagers and ales, with micro-breweries coming to the forefront.

Bradford-born Matthew has recently spent time in London as chief executive of a capital-wide health charity. He 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 still 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."

The development, located a stone’s throw from Bradford’s ever popular North Parade beer scene, will create 11 full-time jobs in the long term and many more involved in the design and construction of the brewery.

The building is on four storeys and the plan is to house the brewery and pub on staggered levels. The scheme will pay homage to the factory heritage with aptly-named bar areas such as the Workshop and Calibration rooms. One striking feature will be a glass wall allowing customers to look directly from the Brewfactory bar into the brewery so they can watch the beer being brewed while they drink.

A planning application has been submitted to Bradford Council seeking permission to convert the building, known as Shaw House -- once the headquarters of Shaw’s Moisture Meters. The company’s famous philanthropist founder, Professor Len Shaw, made his fortune from inventing, developing and selling moisture-sensing technology for use in the textile industry.

The building has lain empty since 2006 when Shaws moved to new premises in Bolton Lane, Bradford, and since then, the owners have been looking for a suitable use that would preserve something of the old factory’s rich heritage.

Matthew Halliday has worked for some years in the charity sector, starting as a fundraiser for Manorlands Sue Ryder Hospice in Oxenhope near Keighley and more recently as non-executive director of Bradford’s Bevan Healthcare.

He was given funding and business advice on the brewery project by former Dragon’s Den star, Doug Richards. Colin Glass, of Winburn Glass, Norfolk, has been appointed a non-executive director.