'Brilliant' news about care home plans for Tolly brewery

The former Tolly Cobbold Brewery in Ipswich

The former Tolly Cobbold Brewery in Ipswich could become assisted living flats - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The owner of Ipswich's former Cliff Quay brewery has been unveiled as local care-home owner Mac Khan, who is hoping to transform it into a centre for assisted living.

He has already spoken to the borough council about what kind of development would be acceptable in the listed building - and councillors and officials are said to be delighted about his plans.

The building was sold for £475,000 at auction last month - but it will cost many millions of pounds to restore and convert.

It was built by Cobbold's brewery in 1896 on a site where beer had been produced for generations, and became the Tolly Cobbold brewery in 1957 when Ipswich's two brewing companies merged.

The last beer was brewed at the site in 2002.

Since then the building has seriously deteriorated and in February last year there was a disastrous fire that caused major damage.

Westerfield House care home and Mac Khan

Mac Khan is set to build a care village at Westerfield House - and has now taken on the former brewery. - Credit: David Vincent

Mr Khan, who owns the Westerfield House care home and is developing a new care village at the site, is a well-known local businessman with a track record of completing major projects.

He visited the site with planning officers from the borough yesterday, and portfolio holder for planning at the council Carole Jones said everyone there was delighted about the change in ownership.

She said: "This is brilliant. We know that Mr Khan is someone who cares about the town and gets things done. It couldn't have a better owner. He's already done much to secure the site and cleared away a lot of the vegetation - but it is very early days."

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Mr Khan said he hoped to speak more about his plans after his discussions with the council, but it is understood to be looking at developing it as a care home and/or flats for people who need support.

He is also expected to start by restoring and reopening the Brewery Tap as a restaurant or pub and restoring the brewery cottage on the site.

Because it is very early there is no timescale for the development, and the cost has still to be worked out. 

The building is listed as was the equipment inside it. However it is understood that since brewing ceased it has been stripped out - which should make it slightly easier to convert to a new use.