Crooked Brewing wants to convert former bank in Driffield into pub

While the future looks bleak for many pubs, a Yorkshire craft brewery is banking on success with a new venture in Driffield.

The former NatWest on the corner of Market Place and Mill Street in Driffield

Crooked Brewing Ltd which brews beer at an industrial unit on the old RAF base at Church Fenton, has applied for planning permission from East Riding Council to turn the former NatWest in Driffield’s Market Place into its second licensed premise.

The brewery already runs the Crooked Tap in Acomb, York, which opened in 2019 and won the Minster FM’s Listener’s Choice Award for best community pub in its first year of trading.

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A submission to the council says the pub will sell the brewery's craft beers, together with beers and ciders, perries, wines and spirits sourced from other craft breweries, wine makers and distilleries.

The proposals include making an open plan bar area on the ground floor and turning the walk-in safe on the ground floor into an off-licence sales area.

Pre-Covid the Crooked Tap hosted “meet the brewers” evenings, a book club, a football club, quiz evenings and live music events.

The submission adds: "The applicant’s intention is that the proposed public house will similarly become a focal point for the people of Driffield."

The brewery's co-owner Steve Dawson said: “We have been encouraged by what we do in Acomb, that it’s something people want.

“That’s what has spurred us on to think we can do more of it.”

He said they'd been attracted to Driffield as a growing town where a lot of new houses are being built.

He added: "We are bringing something that doesn't already exist and that people are already probably travelling out of Driffield to find."

The bank is in the town's conservation area and the agents say alterations to the exterior of the building are "limited".

The plans are set to create five permanent and three part-time jobs.

NatWest closed its doors for the final time in June 2018 as part 179 closures across the country.

The building was bought by new owners and has been marketed for around a year, but documents online add that no bank or financial services provider has come forward as a potential tenant .