Everards wants move away from its current location adjacent to the Fosse Park retail complex, and build a state-of-the-art brewery on a nearby green field site on the outskirts of the city.
The proposals will include a cluster of smaller units that the brewer, best known for its Tiger ale, hopes will be let to traditional cheese producers and pie makers, among other food-related businesses.
Everards believes the plans have the potential to create up to 300 jobs.
The total site is 35ha (86 acres) but Everards said it will need only about 5ha(13 acres) for its proposals. Plans will be submitted to Blaby District Council in the spring. It already owns the land earmarked for the project.
“The vision is to re-locate the offices and brewery and build a new craft brewery and offices on the land,” the firm said.
“Everards will also develop several further buildings on the site which will create an innovative ‘Food and Drink Cluster’ – progressive companies all committed to the production of first-class food and drink brands.
“These companies, including Everards, would share a retail visitor centre which will adjoin a new public open space on land owned by the Company. Working with, among others, British Waterways, the Environment Agency and the Leicestershire Wildlife Trust, Everards will create recreational and educational space which will compliment the food and drink cluster.”
Work could begin in late 2012, but the project is also dependent on Everards receiving an offer for its current site. Stephen Gould, md, said that would need to be “tens of millions of pounds”.
Its proximity to Fosse Park and the M1 motorway means the location is already coveted by retailers but, so far, no bidder has matched Everards’ valuation.
Everards has a turnover of about £30M and operates 175 pubs. Founded in 1849, it remains family-owned and focused on local on-trade sales but has pledged to push for sales beyond its traditional heartland.
Beer sales in the UK rose by 1.6% in the third quarter of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010, according to data from the British Beer & Pub Association.
But sales of beer in pubs fell by 4.3%, a decline equivalent to 45M pints.