Brewery sponsors town theatre and heritage centre

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Canalside development: Joule’s Brewery is to sponsor a new heritage centre and theatre
Canalside development: Joule’s Brewery is to sponsor a new heritage centre and theatre

Related tags Brewery Staffordshire

A Shropshire-based brewery has announced it will push forward with plans to sponsor a new theatre and heritage centre as it builds a new taphouse.

Joule’s Brewery will open a pub on the one-acre site of its former warehouse in Stone, between Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent.

The building was purchased in November 2017 on behalf of the Crown Wharf Steering Group, which aims to develop the canalside area into a leisure complex.

Joule’s spent more than a decade looking for a taphouse site in the town. It has lodged plans with Stafford Borough Council's planning committee for formal consultation and hopes to complete construction before spring 2020.

Town history

Joule's former site in Stone. image: Bob Harvey, Geograph
Joule's former site in Stone. image: Bob Harvey, Geograph

Pale ales were brewed by Augustinian monks in the town from the 16th century, and the brewery’s red cross was trademarked in 1867.

A new heritage centre will document the brewery’s role in the town, as well as Stone’s modern history as an inland sea port.

Steve Nuttall, managing director for Joule’s Brewery, said he first approached the steering group two years ago.

“This project is our biggest undertaking. For it to be in Stone, the home of Joule’s beer, makes it very special.

In a letter published in local newspaper the Stone Gazette, ​Nuttall said the brewery wanted to sponsor the development so it could be “more than just a pub, and [would] be a bigger part of the town and community”.

'Cultural asset'

“We think it’s good marketing of course, but that is not what drives us. To us, it’s all about being Joule’s, that is what is at the heart of this project,” he explained.

The Stone Revellers Theatrical Society celebrated its 40th birthday this year and said its new space would bring the community together.

The town’s MP, Bill Cash, said he wholeheartedly supported the scheme as it would bring a 'cultural boost' to the town.

“The return of Joule’s to Stone with great style is very welcome. The brewery’s sponsorship of our established amateur theatre company seems like a serendipitous coming together and I am sure the town will embrace that.  

"The proposal for a fully professional studio theatre will be a great cultural asset.”

He continued: “Add to this the proposed heritage and visitor centre, which can explore the cultural heritage of this fine town and tell the story of Stone, and the whole scheme will have a significant impact.

“This development will make Stone at the forefront of that change: cultural attractions, leisure facilities of the highest standards, meeting spaces and community engagement.”

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