Fire-hit Tolly Cobbold brewery site sold at auction

The Tolly Cobbold brewery

The Tolly Cobbold brewery has been sold for £475,000. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The former Tolly Cobbold brewery on Cliff Quay in Ipswich has been sold by auction for £475,000 through estate agents Savills.

The sale went through a London auction earlier this week - but there are no details yet about who has bought it or what their plans are for the future of the fire-ravaged building.

It is believed that the purchaser may have a local connection for the site, which had a guide price of £500,000.

The purchase includes the former Brewery Tap pub and land that was previously used for parking

The last beer was brewed at the site in 2002 and the building had been empty for several years before the devastating fire that caused a great deal of damage to the building in February 2020.

Tolly Cobbold fire

The brewery was devastated by fire in 2020. - Credit: Sky Cam East

Beer had been brewed at the site by the Cobbold family for centuries but the Ciff Quay Brewery was completed in its current form in 1896. It is a listed building - as is much of the brewing equipment that is left inside.

Savills said it would be suitable for mixed use or residential development - but this would be subject to planning consent which could be a lengthy and expensive process in itself.

Earlier owners had proposed to turn it into a visitor and education centre with theatre and arts space linked to the university, but those plans failed to get the funds necessary and the building was sold to London-based investors two years ago.

They have now sold it but while the identity of the purchaser is not known there are indications that there may be a local link.

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The site is seen as crucial for the future development of the Waterfront area - it is one the "bookends" of that area along with Stoke Bridge and is also seen as a link between the Waterfront and nearby Holywells Park.

Whatever happens to the site, the borough is keen to see some public access - former owners Pigeon Developments had obtained permission to build 222 flats on part of the site along with restoring the building for public use before it was sold on in 2019.

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