Award-winning new tenant ‘brewing’ for Blackburn’s Cultural Quarter

Published 28th Sep 2023

The finest craft beers could soon be ‘on tap’ in Blackburn’s new £50m Cultural Quarter.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is in advanced discussions with award-winning Blackedge Brewery to move into number 35 Northgate.

Opposite King George’s Hall, the striking 19th Century building was formerly the Ribblesdale Hotel, Gladstone’s and Baroque.

It’s recently undergone an impressive £350,000 transformation as part of the Townscape Heritage Project with the National Lottery Heritage Fund in the Blakey Moor area of the town, now being billed as Blackburn’s new Cultural Quarter.

Wayne Roper, co-founder of Horwich-based Blackedge Brewery, said:

As soon as I saw the building, I was really taken by it and I brought my wife and she loved it too.

It’s in a great location and it feels like a really exciting time for that area with work progressing well on the neighbouring Blakey Moor building too. It feels like the start of something really good and we want to be a part of it.

He added:

Blackedge Brewery was born out of a love of the US craft beer scene and it started with my brother-In-law Sean and I brewing beer in a shed at the end of my garden.

We now have a multi-award winning brewery and two award-winning tap rooms, the first, The Brewery Bar opened in Horwich in 2015 and The Brewery Tap opened in Westhoughton in 2019.

They both serve our hand-pulled ales, craft beers and artisan cider and we have the full range of locally-produced spirits from our friends at Brindle Distillery too.

We also have occasional live music and pop-up events with food offers which are always popular.

Our tap rooms are built around our ethos of providing a safe, inclusive space for everybody – serving up some of the best beers available in the North West and providing artisan products above the norm.

The Brewery Bar scooped the coveted CAMRA Pub of the Year Award with The Brewery Tap coming runner-up. The Blackedge Brewery is also a member of The Society of Independent Brewers and their beers have won many SIBA competitions over the years.

Wayne said:

The new furniture is already on order and we’ve applied for a license for outdoor seating.

As soon as the lease is signed we’ll be starting to advertise for staff and we hope to be open late November to early December in time for the countdown to Christmas.

We don’t have TVs, pool tables or gaming machines – our tap rooms are just really nice places to come and enjoy an afternoon or evening with friends and family in a sociable environment.

Our bar teams take pride in our brand and will always greet people with a smile and some friendly chat.

It’s a model that’s working really well for us with our other tap rooms and we can’t wait to open our doors on this new venture in Blackburn.

You can read more about Blackedge Brewery at:

And, if you can’t wait to sample what they have to offer, you can order their mini casks, bags in a box, cans, branded merchandise and gifts online.

Councillor Quesir Mahmood, Deputy Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council and Executive Member for Growth and Development, said:

This is really good news for the Cultural Quarter and for the town centre.

Our officers have been working really hard to find the right tenant for this iconic building and Blackedge Brewery feels like a really good fit and we can’t wait to have the lease officially signed and for them to open to their doors.

Our residents have told us they want a really nice, licensed place to go in the late afternoon and evenings and with King George’s having such a strong line-up too, the microbrewery will be a fantastic addition.

New hoardings have also recently been installed at the Blakey Moor Building advertising that as an opportunity for a new restaurant and bar in 2024.

The striking hoardings boast designs incorporating artwork by award-winning artist, Alexandra Gallagher.

About the Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage Project

The Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage Project is an ambitious £3 million project to transform the historic heart of Blackburn. A joint investment by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Project is focused on the Northgate Conservation Area in Blackburn town centre and has already restored properties on Northgate and Lord Street West and improved the public realm around King George’s Hall.

The Project also provides local people with opportunities for training in traditional building skills and has delivered a series of complementary events and activities over the last few years.

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