Joule’s Brewery is pleased to announce that Stafford Borough Council met last night and granted full planning consent for them to build a Brewery Tap and studio theatre at Crown Wharf Stone.

Joule’s has purchased the 1-acre site from the Canal and River Trust. Planners rejected Trust in 2017 after a previous scheme for retirement flats. The Brewery has subsequently agreed on terms with Staffordshire County Council to acquire the Old Fire Station for use as a Heritage Centre, which will be provided for £1 a year to Stone Town Council. Stone Town Council will be investing in the fit out and running of the Heritage Centre. This month the Brewery also announced it had acquired the 0.1-acre Pooles Yard from Suma development.

The proposed site is now 1.2 acres and will have additional pedestrian access to the main Crown Wharf Site via the Old Fire Station.

Steve Nuttall Managing Director of Joule’s Brewery addressed the committee and said:

‘This project means much more to Joule’s than just a new Pub; it is about our heritage. Which is also a part of the story of Stone – the birthplace of the iconic Joule’s beer brand and the famous red cross, the 6th oldest beer trademark in the world.’

‘Stone is fundamental to our identity as Joule’s; it is who and what we are. We have such an intense ambition to return to the home of Joule’s. Not to buy a Pub but to do something much more profound. To embrace the culture and heritage, forming a relationship with the community. Becoming a part of this community today and not just a memory, it is all about being Joule’s.’

Joule’s Managing Director adds, ‘Our goal is to build something iconic and respectful, celebrating the brand, as well as creating a new legacy for the future. Stone has welcomed our proposal very warmly and with great affection, we have been overwhelmed by the support from Stone Town Council, the Canal and River Trust, local businesses- especially canal cruising our neighbours and of course the public, among them many employees of the original Brewery.’

‘Over 30 people have taken the time to write and express support to the planning department as well as hundreds more on social media. We want to live up to that expectation.’

Steve Nuttall adds, ‘We ask you today to give us the opportunity to build a new Joule’s building, in the shadow of the where the original Brewery stood and encircled by the previous Brewery footprint, some of the space was even a part of the old Brewery Cooperage. Our site stands adjacent to the previous Joule’s warehouses. We ask for your support to build a new Joule’s Brewery Tap. Along with a studio theatre for the 40-year-old Stone Revellers – a professional and purpose-built space. In addition a Heritage Centre, to be provided free to Stone Town council and to enable us to the restore Wharfinger’s Cottage, all of this on a 1.2-acre site that is just 50 yards from the high street and to create a suite of canal side buildings that will showcase the canal frontage.’

Rob Kenney Stone Town Councillor, member of the Crown Wharf Steering group and trustee of the new theatre comments,

‘This is a landmark day which means planning can commence building on Crown Wharf. It is a tremendously exciting scheme, which has the potential to lift the high street and the whole town. The three elements that make upon Crown Wharf are starting to fall into place; it is tremendous news. The Heritage Centre is a bonus to the whole scheme.’

Jill Hood County Councillor, member of the Crown Wharf steering group and trustee of the new theatre said.

‘I am thrilled that the scheme is now approved. We have had universal support, other than the conservation officer. Joule’s addressed these concerns in the planning meeting, and I am pleased that colleagues have supported Joule’s and supported Stone Town Council. There is still much to do but the scheme is approved which is brilliant news for our town – I can’t wait.’

Bill Cash MP has supported the proposal throughout.

‘I am delighted that the council have granted planning consent for this important development. Town centres are a challenge, and changing rapidly, this development is a part of the changing nature of our town centres and its right that it has been warmly welcome. I am personally especially hopeful for the Heritage Centre; Stone has a fascinating history that should be shared, this is an opportunity to bring that alive. I wish everyone involved every success and congratulated the steering group for getting to this milestone.’

Harri Bailey Stone Revellers

‘This is wonderful news! We have been working closely with Joules and a specialist company called ‘Theatreplan’ to come up with the design and the drawings for the theatre are really exciting. What makes this project particularly special is the opportunity to design a theatre that is not only purpose-built, but one that is purpose-built for Stone!  Most new theatre spaces these days are conversions, often parts of other buildings made to work as a theatre space, something Revellers know all about!  But this will be built as a theatre for everyone in Stone to enjoy, with a great mix of functionality, aesthetics and comfort.  It’s shaping up to be a great space for theatre, music, film and wider community groups to enjoy, a unique facility for the whole town and our visitors.’

Joule’s is currently planning the timing of works, to keep up to date with all progress and updates follow Crown Wharf on Facebook.