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.
It would be based in the former headquarters of Shaw's Moisture Meters, which has been empty since 2006 when the company moved.
Since then the owners of the building, off Westgate, have been looking for someone to find a use for the building which would allow its industrial heritage to be preserved.
It is expected the business would create 11 full time jobs, but would also provide a boost for the city's economy during the design and construction phase.
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.
The scheme's future rests on a planning application which has now been submitted to Bradford Council.
If that is successful, it will mean beer being brewed in the city centre for the first time since the closure of Hammonds Bradford Brewery in 1955.
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.
"As a manufacturer, Bradford Brewery also meets the Council's ambition for developing a Producer City where things are made and goods are sold further afield. We look forward to the brewery flourishing and flying the flag for Bradford for many years to come”.
The Growth Zone is the Council’s £35m initiative to attract businesses into the city centre.