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Greene King unveils plans for new £40m brewery in Bury St Edmunds at Suffolk Park





Brewing giant Greene King has unveiled plans for a new £40 million brewery in Bury St Edmunds.

The company plans to build the state-of-the-art facility at Suffolk Park, next to Moreton Hall, where it is already fitting out its new distribution centre.

Brewing will continue at the existing Westgate Brewery in Bury until the new project is complete.

An artist's impression of the new Greene King brewery at Suffolk Park, next to Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Greene King
An artist's impression of the new Greene King brewery at Suffolk Park, next to Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Greene King

Staff were being told of the new plans this morning.

Bosses hope the new facility will be complete by 2027. They are now going through the pre-planning process.

Public consultation will also now take place with the intention of putting a formal application to planners in July.

The Greene King brewery in Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: istock
The Greene King brewery in Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: istock

If all goes to schedule, work could begin on site in early 2025.

Officials expect the new brewery will significantly improve sustainability.

Per pint, water usage in the brewing process will be reduced by more than 50 per cent, alongside significant improvements in energy efficiency.

It will drive Greene King’s progression towards its science-based environmental targets, which includes the company’s aim to be carbon net zero by 2040, as well as reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.

The Greene King brewery in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: istock
The Greene King brewery in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: istock

The investment into a new custom-built facility represents a major commitment from Greene King to the future of British brewing and the company’s production of cask ale, alongside its newer premium craft beer brands.

It builds on the company’s 200-year history of brewing in Bury St Edmunds since it was founded in 1799.

Nick Mackenzie, CEO of Greene King
Nick Mackenzie, CEO of Greene King

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive officer at Greene King, said: “Brewing in Bury St Edmunds is a core part of Greene King’s DNA.

“This investment represents a further and significant ongoing commitment to our brewing operations in a town which has such a rich and storied connection with our business and with brewing.

“As we seek to make our operations more sustainable, our new brewery will future proof our ability to brew our much-loved brands, as we create a thriving modern hospitality business."

Matt Starbuck, managing director Brewing & Brands, said: “The development of this state-of-the-art facility will allow us to maintain brewing at the core of our business going forwards.

"We are excited by the opportunity that this affords and the chance to invest in innovation and the development of our world class beer portfolio."

With completion some three years away, Mr Starbuck was unable to offer assurances on future staffing levels but added: "Any employer would find it very difficult to guarantee jobs given that markets change over time, but the way I'd like people to see this is that by making a significant investment of £40m, our intention is very much to protect jobs for the long term."

Matt Starbuck, managing director of Brewing & Brands at Greene King. Picture: Greene King
Matt Starbuck, managing director of Brewing & Brands at Greene King. Picture: Greene King

Mr Starbuck said the series of consultations - both within Greene King and also in the community - would be important.

"We are taking a lot of time here to ensure everybody's views are going to be heard - not just from our own internal colleagues but it's also really important that we hear from the local community.

"I want to walk away and feel that we have secured a legacy for brewing in the town for generations to come as opposed to this being a stop-gap, bolt-on, let's put another thing on top of what we've already got that, in 10 years time, we've got to revisit and pull it all apart again.

"This is a considered 'let's move something, do it right, secure the future'."

Cllr Cliff Waterman, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: "Greene King has been an integral part of Bury for more than 200 years, and it is fantastic to see their continued commitment to the town.”

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said: “Greene King is at the heart of our Bury St Edmunds community, and has been for more than two centuries. Building a modern, more sustainable brewery that looks to the future will bring many benefits.

“It is brilliant to see the company commit to the future of its operations in the town and surrounding areas, supporting hundreds of jobs and maintaining the town’s heritage as a pillar of British brewing.”

No decisions have yet been taken on the future of the town centre sites being vacated.

Greene King employs just under 40,000 people. It is the UK's leading pub company and brewer with around 2,600 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland.

Its portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, Ice Breaker and Belhaven Best with a range of additional premium beers and seasonal ales.