Guinness manufacturer Diageo has announced that it is planning to invest £73 million in a new microbrewery and culture hub in Covent Garden in London.
According to a statement published on Diageo's website, the new microbrewery and culture hub will be called "Guinness at Old Brewer's Yard", and it is set to open in the autumn of next year.
Diageo said that the new venue will be 50,000 square feet and create up to 150 jobs, and that the site will also become the southern UK hub of Diageo's Learning for Life Bartending and Hospitality Programme, which it said has provided skills and improved the employability and livelihoods of more than 5,500 UK residents to date.
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Diageo said that its ambition is for more than 100 students to graduate from the "Guinness at Old Brewer's Yard" programme every year, with a proportion of employment opportunities being ring-fenced for Learning for Life graduates.
According to Diageo, "Guinness at Old Brewer's Yard" will cover locations linking Mercer Walk, Langley Street, Neal Street and Shelton Street, and will include a microbrewery that will offer guests tours; event spaces and a central covered courtyard; a Guinness store; opportunities to try new brews, some of which will be exclusive to "Guinness at Old Brewer's Yard"; and rotating cuisine and events at an open-fire kitchen, restaurant and 360 degrees glass rooftop space.
Diageo Great Britain Managing Director Statement
The statement published on Diageo's website included a statement from Diageo Great Britain managing director Dayalan Nayager, in which he said, "We're excited to create a new home for Guinness in the heart of London. 'Guinness at Old Brewer's Yard' will strengthen London's hospitality community and be a must-visit destination for thousands of visitors to enjoy."
Nayager also said, "Government support over the last two years has been vital for pubs and bars. Coming out of the pandemic, the long-term vitality of the trade will be significantly helped by the alcohol duty review and continued freezes in duty."
Mercers' Company Chief Executive Statement
The statement published on Diageo's website also included a statement from the chief executive of the Mercers' Company, with owns Old Brewer's Yard, Rob Abernethy, in which he said, "We are delighted to welcome Guinness to our Covent Garden estate. We have worked closely with Diageo to develop proposals which will restore Old Brewer's Yard's historic origins in a contemporary context. The significant level of investment is a major boost to London's recovering economy and will provide a one-of-a-kind immersive experience, shining the spotlight on Covent Garden as a global visitor destination. Old Brewer's Yard will provide a wonderful platform for the Mercers' Company to continue its philanthropic work, helping to create positive change so that everyone has the chance to lead a fulfilling life."
Subject To Planning Permission
Diageo added that the planned opening of the "Guinness at Old Brewer's Yard" development in the autumn of next year is subject to planning permission and a consultation period.
UK Guinness Sales
Diageo also said that Great Britain Guinness sales have increased by more than 30% in the last six months, and that one in every 10 pints that are sold in London is now a Guinness.
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