Brickmakers could be protected with community asset status bid

The Brickmakers on Sprowston Road. Photo: Norwich

The Brickmakers on Sprowston Road. Photo: Norwich - Credit: EDP pics © 2011(01603) 772434

A bid is being lodged to protect a popular Norwich pub and venue, where the landlords have announced they will step down, from future development.

Mike Stonard, Norwich city councillor. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mike Stonard, Norwich city councillor. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

It was announced last month the team at the Brickmakers, on Sprowston Road, would be leaving the business after lease talks broke down.

Since then, negotiations have been ongoing with owners Ei Publican Partnerships to explore options to keep the team in post.

It is a loved pub and respected music venue, and more than 16,000 people have signed a petition to see the pub remain open in its current form.

Now, it has been nominated to become an asset of community value by Future Projects, which is behind Norwich community radio station Future Radio.

The team at the Brickmakers. Photo: Archant

The team at the Brickmakers. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

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If approved by Norwich City Council, it would see the building given greater protection from development if, in the future, it were ever sold.

Ei has said it has no intention of selling the building, and plans to keep it as a pub.

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Mike Stonard, chairman of the station and a Norwich city councillor, said it would give the pub greater protection in the long-term - but said it was not a 'silver bullet'.

Mr Stonard said: 'The Brickmakers is far more than a pub. It is a fundamental part of the music scene in Norwich and our music culture. One of the reasons for that is it gives new acts access to the stage and not have to pay for it which could cost thousands.

'The Brickmakers allows them to develop their craft and allows them to perform.

'By applying for it to be an asset of community value will give the community six months to raise money and put in a bid.

'This is not a silver bullet but one element of many things that can be done to protect the building.'

A form that will be submitted to Norwich City Council to allow the pub to become a community asset also praises the thousands that has been raised for Norwich charities through its events, such as Brickfest.

It also says: 'It is unique in this region and is irreplaceable. Its loss to the local community would be a very serious loss.'

An Ei Publican Partnerships spokesperson said: 'Discussions with the publican are progressing and we are confident of reaching a positive outcome.'

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