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Heineken sells historic Caledonian Brewery site to property developers
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

8 January 2024

Heineken sells historic Caledonian Brewery site to property developers

Heineken has announced the sale of the Caledonian Brewery site in Edinburgh to the property developers Artisan Real Estate. The developer has already submitted its Proposal of Application Notice with a public consultation scheduled to be held on 7 February, intending to turn the historic 1.9-acre site into new housing. The proposed plans include approximately 170 new one, two and three bed apartments, mews houses and duplex units. Artisan claims that 35% of these developments will be affordable, in line with the City of Edinburgh Council policy. Heineken acquired the brewery in 2008 and in May 2022 it announced the closure of the Caledonian Brewery and placed the site on the market. Before this, it was Edinburgh’s last major brewery. The site holds historic significance as it was founded in 1869 by George Lorimer and Robert Clark. The brewery, along with its B-listed Victorian buildings, reportedly used traditional brewing methods open square fermenters and direct-fired copper kettles. A Heineken UK spokesperson said: “Heineken UK understands the significance of the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh's history and appreciates the community's deep connection to its heritage. After making the incredibly difficult decision to close the site we are pleased to learn that Artisan Real Estate, known for its successful urban regeneration projects, has a vision to transform this landmark into a vibrant and sustainable residential development. “We are supportive of the fact that the development plan incorporates a major public consultation, starting in February 2024. As this process unfolds, we encourage community members to actively contribute to the dialogue which will shape the future of the Caledonian Brewery site.” In response to concerns about the historic significance of the site, the spokesperson added: “We are pleased to see that David Westwater, Artisan's Scottish regional director, has expressed the intention to honour the brewery's unique heritage and character throughout the development process. This includes preserving and restoring listed buildings, such as the brewhouse and maltings.” Westwater stated: “From the start, the brewery’s unique heritage and character will govern our development approach. Around one fifth of the homes will be housed in the existing listed buildings, which we will preserve and restore to their former glory. We will also, wherever possible, respect and reflect the original footprint of the brewery – including recreating the top-floor skyline of the maltings buildings which was demolished following a fire almost 30 years ago.”

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