Keighley brewery to invest £9m as part of expansion of site

Friday, 3 November 2023 20:59

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

Timothy Taylor's Chief Executive Tim Dewey with Rombalds Radio's Stuart Clarkson

Major plans to expand the Timothy Taylor's brewery in Keighley have been approved by Bradford Council, with £9 million set to be invested over the next five years.

The company recently revealed plans to increase the brewing capacity at its Knowle Spring Brewery site – where it has been based for 160 years.

The company behind beloved brews such as Landlord and Boltmaker said the improvements would support the brewery’s growth and allow it to remain rooted in Keighley.

The planning application for the work has been approved by Bradford Council this week, with the company’s chief executive describing the approval as a “significant” moment for the long standing brewery, with £9m to be invested in the site over the next five years.

Timothy Taylor’s dates is the last independent brewery of its type left in West Yorkshire, and dates back to the 1850s.

It has been based at its current Knowle Spring Brewery site in 1863.

The plans submitted to the Council were to remove and replace the roof of a “tired” section of one of the existing buildings, with the building then reconfigured to allow the installation of new brewing equipment.

This equipment would allow for better storage of the water from the Knowle Spring, an on site spring used in the beers brewed – allowing Timothy Taylor’s to meet the growing demand for its products.

Describing the need for the works, the application said: “The Knowle Spring Brewery opened in 1863 the move allowed for the expansion of the brewery and malting process and the natural spring it was sat over played a key role to the unique flavours in the brewing process.

“In 1894 a deep well was sunk to allow for a constant supply of the pure Pennine spring water and is still used today. The site’s location and access to Spring Water is key to the consistency in the production of beers the company is well known for.

“Timothy Taylor’s ongoing success has resulted in the natural growth of their manufacturing facilities at The Knowle Spring Brewery over time.

“Their aim is to continue to improve the facilities, production line and keep true to the heritage of their brewing process retaining the site in Keighley.

“There has been a growth in the number of staff over time, supporting the continued increase in site capacity and production output.

“There is a business requirement to increase the brewing capacity at Timothy Taylor’s to meet current market demands.

“The expansion works will underpin the value of the site and ensure the brewery remains rooted in Keighley. It is hoped that by increasing the longevity of the site it will in turn improve job security and increase employment opportunities for local people.”

Approving the works, planning officers said: “This is a long established use on this site and a thriving, award-winning local business. The proposal is considered to be acceptable in principle and would accord with the economic strand of the National Planning Policy Framework which seeks to encourage enterprise.”

After the plans were approved late last week, Tim Dewey, Chief Executive, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The development that has received planning permission is quite a significant one for Timothy Taylor’s and is part of a £9 million investment plan over the next five years.

“While the plan provides for increased capacity at the brewery, importantly, it will also enhance our resilience, health and safety, and ability to deliver quality beer as it will significantly upgrade our facilities, including additional storage for our Knowle Spring water (used in all our beer), yeast care, and cleaning.

“All of this by redeveloping a very ‘tired’ part of the brewery, with an end-of-life roof and various pieces of redundant equipment.

“The project has been championed by our new Operations Director, Kevin Smithson, working with the brewing team, particularly Nick Berkovits, 2nd brewer, and supported by Bowman Riley Architects, Skipton.”

The past year has seen the brewery branch out beyond its traditional tipples. Earlier this year saw the release of Hopical Storm – the first Timothy Taylor drink to be sold in a can. And in August Timothy Taylor took part in its first ever brewery collaboration – teaming up with Bakewell based Thornbridge to produce Artesian, an elderflower and gooseberry pale ale.

Listen to Rombalds Radio's Stuart Clarkson and Alex Cann take a brewery tour at Timothy Taylor's and chat with Chief Executive Tim Dewey:

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