What will happen to the Bass Shire Horses when the brewery centre shuts

Questions have been raised over what will happen to Burton's famous Bass Shire horses following news that the National Brewery Centre will shut. The brewery centre, in Horninglow Street, Burton, is set to controversially shut and some of the artefacts will be moved to the smaller Bass House, in High Street, in the town centre. The brewery centre will close on October 31 so that Molson Coors, which owns the building, can move its headquarters to the site.

Its HQ is currently in High Street in the town centre. This site would be used as part of a marina-style development front the river when its 500 staff move to the brewery centre. Bass House currently does not have outdoor space for the shire horses leading to questions around whether the horses will remain in Burton at all.

When asked by StaffordshireLive what will become of the famous animals, a spokesperson for Planning Solutions Ltd, which runs the brewery centre, simply said: "The Shire horses head groom is being supported for the best possible steps moving forwards." Shire horses have always been a huge part of Burton's brewing history as due to their strength and stamina they were used to pull drays loaded with heavy barrels of beer from the breweries destined for the many pubs in and around the area. TOP STORY: Couples devastated as weddings cancelled as venue is to close

Later, in the 1960s, when they were replaced by trucks and lorries, which transported beer from the town, they became a permanent feature at the Bass Museum, which went on to become the Coors Visitor Centre and later the National Brewery Centre. The then head horseman Peter Riseborough bought back the shires in 1983. Since then the horses have become a major attraction, not just to the brewery centre, but to Burton's tourism.

They famously greeted the Queen and Prince Philip when they visited Burton in 2002. The Duke of Edinburgh even fed the horses to their favourite tipple - Burton beer. They are always out and about on show during major events, and feature heavily in the guided tours.

The tours explain the important roles that Shires played in the development of the brewing industry when they were the mainstay of daily local delivery services. Often, the horses take part in private functions away from the brewery centre.

Barry Coffen with horse Walter.

Molson Coors' Carling House headquarters, in High Street will then be demolished to make way for a GBP5 million a marina-style development fronting the River Trent on the site. Nearby land would be used to create a new visitor centre overlooking the river and the Washlands.

The old Bass Water Tower refurbished and 22 affordable homes built, along with eight town houses would be built as part of the scheme. Archives from the National Brewery Centre will be moved to the Bass House, in High Street, but there are concerns that the building is not big enough to house the half a million artefacts which includes machinery. NEWSLETTER: Sign up for email alerts to StaffordshireLive straight to your inbox here

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