Ambitious plans for Garden City Brewery in Letchworth given green light

PUBLISHED: 14:32 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:33 28 January 2016

An artist's impression of the Garden City Brewery. Credit: Holly-Anne Rolfe.

An artist's impression of the Garden City Brewery. Credit: Holly-Anne Rolfe.

Archant

An overlooked area of Letchworth's town centre viewed by many as the town's best-kept secret is all set for a shot in the arm after planners gave the green light to an ambitious new addition.

Plans have been approved to turn the former Aly’s Diner – one of the largest buildings in The Wynd which has been standing empty for a year – into the Garden City Brewery.

The new venture plans to produce traditional English ales, heritage brews and US-inspired craft ales, with the main brewing equipment visible from the drinking area but separated from the public by a serving bar.

Holly-Anne Rolfe, who put forward the application to North Herts District Council, said: “Obviously we are very excited and extremely pleased that the application has been granted.

“Perhaps there are some beer lovers among the planning committee?

“It’s wonderful that there’s been such a great reaction. We can’t wait to start engaging with our future customers and, most importantly, making and serving some lovely beers.

“There’s still a few things to tie up, but we’re confident all should be sorted within the next few weeks.

“We’ve quite a journey ahead however before we’ll be ready to open our doors, but we’ll be working hard to make sure it happens as soon as possible and – all being well – we should be in a position to do this later in the spring.”

Despite seeing the departures of Craft Cocoon, Funkydory Clothing and Tumble Tent by May of last year, The Deli and The Crafty Vegetarian have been welcome additions to the town, and Holly believes the brewery will add an extra dimension to the town centre street.

“There is proof from case studies around the UK that microbreweries encourage regeneration of struggling areas,” she said.

“In London and on the south coast even industrial units with tap-rooms open once a week encourage regular visitors and other businesses to open nearby, employing local people.

“This is a unique proposition in this area. Letchworth has nothing similar, neither does Hitchin or Baldock, so this would attract both visitors and tourists and provide residents and workers with a distinctive offer adding to the town’s desirability.”

The bar will be open from 12 noon and 10pm Sunday to Thursday, and an hour later on Friday and Saturday.

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