Your views on transforming old water tower into tourist attraction in Burton

Readers have mixed views on ambitious proposals to create a major tourist attraction in one of Burton’s most recognizable landmarks.

A proposal has been put forward to turn the old Bass water tower in the town center into a tourist hub, complete with viewing platform on the top to take in the views of the town and Washlands area around the River Trent. It could also be home to the town’s library.

The 120ft water tower could attract tourists to the town, say Love Burton, the group behind the idea. It comes as controversial plans are being proposed to move the town’s library from its current building fronting the Washlands to inside Burton Market Hall, which would mean traders would move to another area of ​​the town.

Some readers say they are behind the idea, while others believe the library should not move at all.

Voluntary group Love Burton has proposed transforming the tower, saying it would mean the library will not have to move down the road to the market hall in the Market Place and said the scheme would be open up a ‘hidden asset’ to scores of visitors.

The group’s proposals say the town would be home to multiple cultural facilities, including a new 21st century library; new washinglands visitor centre; heritage center and a new skills and enterprise centre, together with work stations and meeting rooms and a central hub for county services.

They say the Market Hall could, instead, be turned in a 21st century artisan food and crafts market and food hall, as well as an events space for live events and functions in the evening.

  • You can have your say on the plan and the library project here

Here’s what readers have been saying:

On Staffordshire Live’s website, Coldspring77 said: “It is certain that better use of the riverside on both sides of the River Trent could be made for the benefit of Burton as a tourist attraction but to expect hoards of tourists is over the top.”

Richard Cranium said: “Plans for the library buildings get smaller and smaller. They’ll be putting it in a disused phone box next.

“Do we really have tourists come to Burton? What on earth are they thinking of? Surely the A38 bypass was built in the sixties so that people wouldn’t see what the town was really like.”

Another reader said: “This is getting out of hand. It certainly wouldn’t be a “major tourist attraction” by any stretch, come on lads.”

Emilee wrote: “I like the idea of ​​utilizing the tower in some way as part of the waterfront regeneration.”

TrentView agreed, writing: “Yes, a good idea of ​​utilizing the water tower into something useful. A grand building that deserves to be put into use somehow.”

Commenting on Facebook, a spokesman for National Forest E-Bike Holidays said: “Great idea. I bet you will get some great views from there. Would definitely include on guests’ itineraries.”

Mick Cobley wrote: “Brilliant idea as long as they cut the grass.”

Luke Bell said: “Now this is something I could actually get behind.”

However, Councilor Richard Grosvenor, former leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council, said: “I’m against these plans as they seek to move the library. It shouldn’t move full stop.”




Roger Hill questioned how the water tower would be made available, saying: “How much will the water tower cost off Molson Coors? What if they don’t want to sell? Is it still in operation now?”

Molson Coors has already confirmed it does own the tower but did not want to say anything about the proposals.

The Grade II Listed tower was built in 1866 and is the surviving part of Bass’s Old Brewery which was demolished in 1970.

Love Burton has put together its alternative proposal to ones from the Burton Town Deal Board. The board, led by chairman Ben Robinson, has recently been granted £22.8 million from the Government to spend on regenerating the town. Its proposals are not set in stone and it has said it welcomes the views of locals.

One of the board’s schemes is to move Burton Library, from its current building off Meadowside Drive, to the town’s Market Hall has met with criticism from campaign groups. It would cost £7.3 million, and another £1 million from Staffordshire County Council to move the library. The board says the current library building needs substantial money spending it and moving to the Market Hall would secure this building’s future.

But the move has created anger among some residents with more than 2,000 signing several petitions against the proposal.

They claim it would be an extortionate amount of money to spend and are concerned the current library building could be bulldozed and turned into housing. They also claim putting the library into the smaller Market Hall could result in a reduced library service.

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