A brewery which has been an icon in Stockport town centre for the last 182 years is to move its operations in a £12 million project.
Robinsons Brewery has announced plans to relocate its brewing and head office operations from its well-known central site on Lower Hillgate – also known as the Unicorn Brewery – to its packaging centre in the Stockport suburban area of Bredbury.
The £12 million project – which expected to be completed by 2025 – includes the installation of a new brewhouse, together purpose-built office accommodation.
This move means that everything the company does, from brewing, cask racking, and kegging, to bottling lines, logistics, and more will soon be housed all one site for the first time since 1949, which is said to be fulfilling a long-held ambition of the Robinson family.
The brewery’s directors said it had been a “difficult decision” to relocate all operations, but assured there would be no job losses.
In a joint statement issued on the move’s announcement, Directors William and Oliver Robinson said: “It will be a wrench [as] the business has a long history in the town centre and we are very respectful of the company’s role in the Lower Hillgate area.
“But the economic and logistical limitations of the site were impossible to ignore.
“Moving everything under one roof gives us the ability to provide a more modern, flexible and greener brewing and packaging operation, while reflecting the company’s heritage.”
Around 50 employees will make the move from Lower Hillgate to Bredbury, and Robinsons’ famous shire horses will also be moving to a new home.
As previously mentioned, there will be no compulsory job losses and Robinsons says the move will support its wider recruitment plans, which are linked to the acquisition of new pubs, and it also plans further investment in its “230-strong tenanted pub estate”.
“This announcement demonstrates our commitment to writing a new chapter in our history in Stockport, continuing to brew, deliver and package award-winning cask, keg and bottled beer under 100pc family ownership,” the directors added.
The brewery is currently working on proposals to reopen The Bull’s Head in Stockport’s Market Square later this year.
It is currently liaising with Stockport Council over possible uses for the present brewery site.
Stockport Council leader Elise Wilson said the relocation of Robinsons was “good news for jobs” in Stockport, adding: “We look forward to seeing their future plans for the town centre site as they are developed over the coming months.”
Featured Image – Robinsons Brewery
Warning after terrifying video shows party decorations catching fire in a Manchester bar – again
Fire crews in Greater Manchester are warning bars and restaurants to be careful after footage emerged of party decorations catching fire above customers’ heads.
In just seconds, the entire ceiling is ablaze, with terrified customers scrambling for the exit.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service released the video in a bid to raise awareness and prevent any similar incidents at hospitality venues in the city-region.
The shocking incident occurred in a shisha bar in Rusholme, in May this year.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but several people were taken to hospital with suspected burns.
In both this instance and in the One Eight Six incident, the cause of the blaze was determined as being ‘indoor fireworks igniting decorations, which then burned rapidly allowing the fire to spread’.
GMFRS is now working with licensing teams from the 10 councils in Greater Manchester to offer free information and advice sessions to owners and managers of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants in advance of the Halloween, World Cup and the Christmas party season.
Leon Parkes, GMFRS’s director of prevention and protection, said: “Hospitality venues have a responsibility to keep their customers and staff safe and at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service we want to help businesses to understand their legal responsibilities and take action to protect their property, staff and customers from fire.
“We have seen a couple of instances in the past year in Manchester where fires have broken out in venues caused by indoor fireworks setting light to decorations.
“While fortunately fires don’t occur very often, the impact of a fire can be devastating and many businesses don’t recover.
“Pubs, bars and other venues will be very, very busy during October, November and December. It’s important that staff prepare by getting trained in what they need to do and that they don’t inadvertently create a fire risk.
“We know that the last two years have been really difficult for hospitality businesses and hopefully the forthcoming World Cup and Christmas period will be a boost for them. We gave out fire safety advice in May last year as Covid-19 restrictions eased and we are now working with our partners to help hospitality businesses be safe and stay safe.”
‘Significant risk’ of UK gas shortages this winter, regulator warns
Energy regulator Ofgem has warned that the UK faces a ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages this winter.
According to reports in The Times, the regulator has unveiled concerns that the country could face blackouts over the coming months thanks to an undersupply of gas to Europe caused by Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Warning that a “gas supply emergency” could be looming ahead, the energy regulator has said that some gas-fired power plants could see their supplies cut off, which in turn would stop generators from producing electricity.
The alert comes just days before an expected update from the National Grid on the likelihood of countrywide power cuts this winter.
Responsing to arequest from SSE, which owns several gas power stations, Ofgem outlined what is set to be a huge issue of concern given that the UK relies on large gas plants to produce the biggest share of its electricity supply.
The regulator also pointed to rules that could see power plants penalised as a result of shortages, warning of a worst-case scenario that would see the “potential insolvency of gas-fired generators” caused by rules that require plants to pay huge charges if they fail to deliver on promised quotas.
Adding that the issue must be addressed to prevent a “significant impact on the safety and security of the electricity and/or gas systems”, the regulator echoed concerns now widespread in Europe as its comments followed a similar statement made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) this morning.
Europeans are already being told they must lower their thermostats and boilers in preparation in case gas supplies are cut off, with Paris-based agency IEA warning today that the EU must focus on getting underground gas reserve levels to 90% of capacity in case of a complete Russian supply shut-off.
Preparation are already being made in Europe with the German government having approved a set of energy-saving measures for the winter to limit use in public buildings. In France, meanwhile, companies have already been warned they may face energy rationing this winter.
Whilst the UK government is yet to announce any energey saving measures, Ofgem has said that it expect s“this winter to be more challenging than last year” and that it is taking “reasonable regulatory steps to mitigate and reduce the risks”.