Robinsons Brewery has today announced a £400k refurbishment project which will see the Bulls Head – the oldest pub in the Market Place, Stockport – re-open its doors for the first time in 8 years. The grade II listed pub, which dates back to 1731, has been closed since November 2011 following a tough trade period for the pub (and the town as a whole) but Robinsons are hoping to complete the refurbishment in time for the brewery’s 182nd birthday in September.
Formerly one of Stockport’s top music venues, the Bulls Head is positioned in one of the most historic settings in all of Stockport. Across the cobbled street in the Market Place, atop the stone steps, the preserved Victorian frontage of the Bulls Head stands face-to-face with the renovated Market Hall building.
Existing as the ‘oldest fully licensed house in the Market Place’, the Bulls Head is a famous inn with strong political and historical associations. It was the centre of local unrest which led to the massacre of Peterloo and, prior to construction of the Market Hall, the balcony was famously used by orators to address the crowds and for the election of ‘hustings’. The Bulls Head is also the only pub to feature on Stockport's Blue Plaque Trail.
William Robinson, Managing Director (Pub Division), explains: “Stockport Market Place is the historic heart of our town and somewhere we are proud to help preserve. We took the decision to renovate the Bakers Vaults in 2014; at a time when the Market Place was really struggling and something drastic needed to change. Since then, everyone has pulled together for the benefit of the town and the regeneration of Stockport has been remarkable. From Foodie Friday, which we sponsor, to the launch of the Produce Hall, and the many boutique and independent shops, the old town of Stockport is once again bustling and it’s now the right time to re-open the Bulls Head."
Stockport is currently benefitting from a £1bn regeneration boom. The revolution has already seen the arrival of the Red Rock leisure complex and the Stockport Exchange office development, with ambitious plans for the Merseyway shopping centre, the transformation of the town's bus station and plans to renovate part of Stockport town centre into the region’s ‘coolest, greenest new urban village’ also in the pipeline. The 20-year vision includes proposals for more than 3,000 new homes in a ‘walkable neighbourhood’, with ‘enviable public transport’ connections – as well as up to 1million sq ft of employment space.
The intensive £400k 3-month refurbishment scheme is planned to start in June and Robinsons hope to re-open in September 2020; just in time to raise a glass to the brewery’s 182nd birthday. The new look promises to be a celebration of all things Stockport; from the hat museum to the brewery – which can be seen from the external terrace of the pub – local heritage will be at the heart of this iconic pub.
William continues: “I hope everyone is as excited as we are for the restoration of the Bulls Head. The transformation requires considerable investment; but we believe in the collective vision and ambition that we all share for Stockport to thrive once more and re-opening this historic pub is an integral step in bringing life to that corner of the Market Place and attracting people back to Stockport. Obviously key to delivering this vision is finding the right person to take the reins and run the Bulls Head long-term.”
The re-opening of the Bulls Head will create approximately 15-20 new jobs in the town. The pub can seat 84 covers inside and 36 covers outside and it is envisaged that food will play a big part in the new offer. There are also plans to make the pub fully accessible by relocating the toilets and creating new user-friendly facilities.
If you’re interesting in running the Bulls Head, please call 0161 612 4112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit www.myrobinsonspub.com to find out more about running a pub with Robinsons.