Planning success for new micropubs in Stoke-on-Trent

Micropubs: Real ale and real people uniting the community.

New micropubs bringing the community togetherCroft Architecture has gained planning permission for the conversion of vacant retail spaces for the development of three new micropubs for different clients, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Like many other retail units across countless high streets in the UK, the former town centre retail stores in Stoke-on-Trent currently stand empty. They all require attention to revive their former identities and breathe life back into the town centres. The empty shops are a perfect blank canvas ready to be transformed into the new micropubs for the local community to enjoy right on their doorstep.

Pubs connecting the community

Brewing from the beginning: Micropubs

‘The Pub’: it’s part of British culture, our history and more importantly our economy.

The pub is clearly not a new concept to Great Britain. Just think, how far back in time would you need to go before you stumbled across one of our first watering holes? Maybe five or six hundred years? No, keep going much further, way back to Roman Britain!

Yes, it was the good old Romans that brought us straight roads, meaning they could transport refreshments to the ‘tabernae’ or taverns as we have since called them.

The fall of the Roman Britain lead to a change in public drinking. The Anglo–Saxons established alehouses where the Saxon ‘Alewifes’ would signal to the villagers that her brew was ready by raising a green bush on a pole. The alehouses were domestic dwellings serving home brew, where you would go to meet, drink and gossip with the locals.

Not much has changed in over a thousand years. Apart from fruit machines, quiz night and maybe even ‘open mic’ on a Friday!

What is a micropub?

Micropub rules

If you’ve never visited a micropub you may think that it’s merely a smaller version of your average stereotypical pub. In many ways this assumption is correct, both pubs and micropubs sell alcohol, but the ethos of a micropub is very different.

The Micropub Association definition is

“A Micropub is a small freehouse which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and dabbles in traditional pub snacks”.

The micropub is a relatively new concept and was founded by Stu Hirst and Martyn Hillier in 2012. Over the past three years the micropubs have grown in popularity and there has been serge in empty high street shops being transformed into new micropubs. Bringing life back into fading town centres and creating places where people can go to appreciate good ale, drink and conversation.

Micropubs are going back to our historical roots and delivering the ethos of why people used to and still do visit the pub. A micropub revolution has begun!

Empty buildings get a new lease of life

Micropubs creating new social community hubsThe conversion of the redundant town retail space into the new micropubs will provide an essential boost to the local economy, whilst improving the streetscape of the local towns in Stoke-on-Trent.

The proposed schemes for the new micropubs will create new “Social Community Hubs”  in the heart of the local towns. The transformation of the empty buildings into community hubs, strips back physical barriers of social engagement creating new meeting spaces and places for people to socialise and have a good time.

The ethos of the new micropubs takes everyone back to their Anglo-Saxon roots where the alehouse first began. They were once the centre of the community, a focal point, and now the new micropubs in Stoke-on-Trent are recreating this for people of all generations. 

The new mircopubs aim to inspire the locals appreciation of brews from the region, whilst creating a new ‘hub’ to meet and converse with your neighbours.

From start to finish

Client meeting and guidanceWorking closely with our clients from inception has accelerated the projects forward at a swift pace, gaining planning permission for the change of use within a short time frame and enabling seamless project progression ready for opening.

Our early involvement has generated a greater understanding of the clients, their aspirations and the entire direction of the projects. Being able to guide the clients through the process from the very beginning has helped to steer the projects quickly in the right direction. From the initial steps of providing essential advice regarding the properties, guidance with licencing plans, building regulations drawings and to then design the layouts for the new interiors.

Our full involvement has driven the projects forwards and within months locals and those further afield will be able to enjoy real ale in the newly created 'community hubs' where the entertainment is purely great conversation.

The new 'micropub revolution' in Stoke-on-Trent

As many town centres across the country are slowly declining it’s great to see new businesses bringing the origins of our ancestral traditions back to life in the form of the micropubs. They're reintroducing the appreciation of the simple things in life; enjoying a great drink and conversation, locally. 

Samuel Pepys was right in saying that pubs are “the heart of England”. Pubs have always been, and always will be a magnet to the local community. They're a great place to socialise, meet your neighbours and even do business! 

Micropubs are not the stereotypical gastropub on the high street serving expensive wines, steaks and cocktails. There's something rustic, honest and real about themThey’re local, small, simple and authentically British!

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