It is ghastly having to watch an old friend rot away in front of your eyes.

Yet everyone who walks through Hope Square in Weymouth has experienced it.

The old brewery, once a great day out, and always a wonderful building, has been neglected by the owners and the conservation enforcement team to the point that bits are falling off, the water soaks inside and the pigeons do what they do everywhere.

This is probably the most important development site in the town, yet there is no mention in Dorset Council’s draft Local Plan of the nearby private housing development that was expected to pay for repairs.

The key building, the original Grove’s gravity brewery and the equipment inside has been “listed” by English Heritage together with the adjacent Devenish buildings.

The whole site creates a unique look and feel in the Square and is the first thing seen by thousands of cruise ship visitors.

Serious schemes have been worked up to use the site for the community. To house Weymouth Museum (seemingly abandoned by Dorset Council) to exhibit the brewery equipment, and to house a field study centre in the only town on the Jurassic Coast accessible by rail. Part of the building might need to be given over to flats (possibly) a restaurant and a bar (certainly!) to make the project feasible and the Civic Society supports this.

The current owners have been placed into receivership, forcing the sale of the Brewery, the workshops and the car parks behind.

Where is Dorset Council? They cannot continue to pretend the site isn’t there, allowing it to be bought by more speculators with no concern for our town.


Chairman, Weymouth Civic Society