A Grafton businessman’s vision to create a world-class food, retail and commercial precinct is one step closer to reality with the release of the Brewhouse Village Masterplan.
Owner Rick Firth, who purchased the Grafton Brewery site just over 18 months ago, says he plans to turn the 57,000 sqm complex into a destination for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a range of facilities including restaurants, cafes and shops.
“The old Grafton Brewery site lends itself perfectly to a retail and commercial precinct that will provide a real destination for people to work or come and enjoy a drink or meal,” Mr Firth says.
“Similar concepts like Precinct 75 in St. Peters, Sydney and the LX Factory in Lisbon, Portugal are both old industrial sites and very successful in attracting people for their range of creative, cultural and food offerings.
“Our masterplan recognises the historic brewery and will build on its heritage to provide something new and exciting for Grafton over the coming years.”
The Brewhouse Village is already home to a café and 70 other tenants with over 230 people calling the complex their working home.
A new heritage brewery is in the planning and a new children’s jungle gym is also being considered.
Fuel company BP has a 24-hour self service station earmarked and a development application for a state-of-the-art carwash has also been lodged.
Mr Firth says he hopes the momentum will entice a range of other businesses to call the Brewhouse Village home.
“We are currently reconfiguring some space to allow for a range of commercial uses from offices to service-based industries who can take advantage of the unique building,” he says.
“Our plan is to provide a place where like-minded businesses can set up, creating opportunities and jobs for the people of Grafton.
“I believe the region has huge potential which is why we’re investing in the precinct to bring something special to the town.”
The Brewhouse Village is a family affair for the Firth’s with Rick’s son Jamie taking on the General Manager role, while his wife Trysten and daughter Georgie work in their Jewellery business, and his other daughter Lindsey helping out in that business and the café.
“My family are important which is why I’m doing this, but also to give back to Grafton which has helped me over the years through my numerous business ventures,” Mr Firth says.
“If the Brewhouse Village can deliver on the masterplan then it will be a success for everyone.”