Councillors back plans for new theatre and pub in Stone
A brand new theatre and pub is coming to a Staffordshire town after councillors backed plans.
Work can now begin on building the new attractions that will be based on Crown Wharf in Stone.
The theatre will hold up to 140 seats with derelict buildings being transformed into a backstage area, alongside the new pub.
The plans were put forward by Joule's Brewery and were passed by councillors at Stafford Borough Council on January 17.
Steve Nuttall, managing director of Joule’s Brewery addressed the committee and said: "This project means much more to Joule’s than just a new Pub, it is about our heritage.
"Which is also a part of the story of Stone, the birthplace of the iconic Joule’s beer brand and the famous red cross, the 6th oldest beer trademark in the world.
"Stone is fundamental to our identity at Joule’s, it is who and what we are.
"We have such an intense ambition to return to the home of Joule’s, not to buy a Pub but to do something much more profound.
"To embrace the culture and heritage, forming a relationship with the community. Becoming a part of this community today and not just a memory, it is all about being Joule’s.
"Our goal is to build something iconic and respectful, celebrating the brand, as well as creating a new legacy for the future.
"Stone has welcomed our proposal very warmly and with great affection, we have been overwhelmed by the support from Stone Town Council, the Canal and River Trust, local businesses and of course the public."
The authority received 33 letters and emails in support of the plans, which will see land currently used by Stone Town Council as a free public car park transformed into a new attraction for the town. The council’s planning officers had also recommended the plans for approval.
Councillor Lyne Bakker-Collier said: “This is a welcome development for Stone. This is just what the town needs, it is already a great town and this will make it greater.
“Maybe Stone Town Council will look at the parking situation in Stone and maybe they would look to increase parking. We have a shortage of parking in Stone and that is a considerable concern to most people.”
The development is another boost to the town which has need major retailers, including Marks and Spencer and B&M open, as well as a new multi million pound leisure centre expected to open in Westbridge Park in March.