The company wants to build a new brewery to replace the existing 1980 building (which it says is outdated) and attract companies onto land it already owns situated close to the police headquarters in Enderby.
They say they want to relocate the existing operation and 104 staff, currently occupying land next to the Fosse Retail Shopping Park.
Everards managing director, Stephen Gould (below right), says jobs would be created by new companies, such as traditional cheese and pork pie makers. Several food and drink businesses have already shown an interest in moving to the new site.
Mr Gould told the Leicester Mercury:
“We don’t just want to create a new brewery, but an exciting food and drinks ‘cluster’ anchored by new tenants,” Mr Gould said.
“The land is currently designated within the green wedge, which is why we want to create an exciting vision for it, offering benefits that counterbalance the actual development.”
The multi-million pound development would cover 12 to 13 acres and include a visitor centre.
The total site would cover 86 acres, most on the River Soar flood plain. The company has indicated it would like to open this up for public access. Plans include a new footbridge across the river, cycle paths and other recreational facilities.
Relocating will cost Everards several million of pounds, so much depends on the company’s ability to sell their current site which will only attract the current market price.
Local parish councils have been informed and Everards said the Environment Agency, British Waterways and Leicestershire Wildlife Trust had been “broadly supportive”. A planning application is due to be submitted in the spring 2012.
Architectural consultants FPCR Environment and Design of Lockington near Castle Donington helped draw up the plans. They say that if the development is approved by Blaby District Council work could commence by the end of 2012.
Fiona Anderson (right), managing director of the East Midlands Food and Drink Forum is reported as saying:
“Everards’ vision demonstrates a significant, long-term commitment to the UK’s largest manufacturing industry.
“The provision of high-quality infrastructure will make Enderby a draw for growing businesses.”
Blaby M.P. Andrew Robathan, asked to comment on the proposals, said it was a matter to be decided locally, but his personal opinion was that he would not be entirely opposed if it led to new employment and better environmental facilities for the community.
The current brewery and office block was opened in 1985 and expanded in 1990.
In 2002 all the managed houses that were run by the brewery were converted to tenancies, where the pubs are run as individual businesses by the licensees rather than by the brewery.
Today Everards owns over 170 pubs in 12 counties and the brewery has the capacity to produce over 65,000 barrels (18,720,000 pints) a year.