A desperate need for more security

Hardy Street, Kimberley.
Hardy Street, Kimberley.

An action group set up to preserve the Kimberley brewery site called an emergency meeting following a recent fire.

The Save Our Brewery group (SOBS) had concerns regarding the security of the site after part of it recently went up in flames, and met with Kimberley town councillors and brewery site owners, Amfaah Investments.

SOBS member Steve Brunt said over recent years the buildings had been repeatedly targeted by youths and the fire was ‘the last straw’.

“We need urgent action taken. We can’t have a huge site like that with no security.

“The fire was the last straw. We realised how potentially fatal it could have been.”

Mr Brunt said there were no signs up at the site so people were calling the police when they spotted any trouble.

“I am concerned the police are becoming Amfaah Investments’ security guards. They (brewery owners) have to find security of their own,” he said.

The group also voiced their concerns about the dilapidated state of the buildings – much of it caused by damage done by youths.

Mr Brunt said there were smashed windows, damaged roofs and mouldy brickwork.

“There’s water getting in through the ceilings and rotting the floorboards and glass panes hanging out.

“All this is causing structural damage. It is a historic site dating back to 1832 and we don’t want to lose it.

“We have lost enough history and heritage in Kimberley with the railways and Wolsey.

Director of Amfaah Investments Raqif Vindhani said he has taken on board the comments and suggestions at the meeting and is now putting measures in place to improve the site’s security.

“We have put up more signs, got more presence on the site and have boarded up many of the openings that were broken into.

“We’re about to look at boarding up the upper level openings, and we are meetings with SOBS at the site on July 20 to progress this further.

“Within the next few months we will start seeing work to the brewery begin and hopefully this will stop the kids entering the site.”