The Old Fire Station & Lark Hill Brewery

Branding a bar, bakery and micro-brewery in the heart of Salford

The challenge

As part of their commitment to regenerating Salford, the University of Salford identified the opportunity to convert the famous but disused Fire Station building on the Crescent into a vibrant destination bar and cafe for locals, University staff and students.

The Old Salford Fire Station branding project aimed to transform an historic fire station on The University of Salford’s campus into a modern café, bar and bakery while preserving its historical charm. Once renovated, it will house a microbrewery and artisanal bakery. In collaboration with the University of Salford, The Old Fire station will host events, projects and programmes that inspire and excite those who visit. The challenge was to create a cohesive brand and develop a website that conveyed the unique essence of the establishment, blending the rich heritage of the building, traditional baking and brewing as well as becoming a hub for cultural, artistic and educational activities. It will aim to be proud of its Salford location, bringing fresh, great quality food and drink to the Crescent.

The primary objective was to develop a brand that captured both the heritage of The Old Fire Station, being a part of the Salford community and the innovative idea of a combined bakery and brewery vibrant community space. The brewery also required a sub-brand named after Lark Hill, the 18th century mansion house built by James Ackers, now a part of the University of Salford. This would position it as a commercial venture that could sell to wider bars and restaurants.

Before executing the design we investigated how to position The Old Fire Station. This was achieved through a workshop exploring the market, audience and partnerships to what we could legitimately say about The Old Fire Station.

The approach

What are we doing?

By creating a food and drink (r)evolution in Salford

We are brewing and baking pioneers, bringing fresh, great quality food and drink to the Crescent.

By providing something more than a space

Providing a beautiful space for a great day or night out that brings new and exciting experiences to the community, with high standards, quality ingredients and talent with integrity and professionalism.

By creating a cultural centre point to the crescent

We will bring new knowledge, talent and learning opportunities through events, programmes and projects to the community, students, staff and those who visit.

How are we doing this?

Creating partnerships between the bakery, brewery, university and local organisations

Plans to have synergy between baked bread and beer with local organisations and the community at the university.

Working with local or ethical suppliers

We will create partnerships that reinforce our desire to be an ethical producer of local food and drink.

Providing a great experience

Working as part of the University, we will host events, projects and programmes that inspire and excite those who visit, to engage and benefit the community (residents, staff & students).

Why are we doing this?

Serving great quality food and drink

To bring freshly made, great quality, craft beer, artisan sourdough, innovative pastries and specialist coffee to the area in a friendly environment.

Creating opportunities & better wellbeing

A hub for the community with opportunities to learn and enhance wellbeing through courses and events.

Providing industry learning

Innovative and unique industry learning for the student body.

The Old Fire Station is at the heart of our community. It will become the go-to place for a cool and refreshing drink, barista-crafted coffee and delicious freshly-made food. It will offer events, programs and learning opportunities through new and exciting partnerships, benefiting everyone through teaching, innovation and research.


The results

The Salford Fire Station branding was cohesive and user-friendly. It bridged the gap between the Salford location and the iconic fire station façade. Additionally, it connected to the modern café, bar and bakery experience. The website saw 6.5k visitors within the first month which is incredible for a brand-new website.

By leveraging a cohesive branding strategy and prioritising an online user experience, the establishment has been able to attract a diverse customer base. It has solidified its position as a unique destination, establishing itself as a cultural cornerstone within Salford.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the branding and website created by Think for our wonderful new bar and cafe. Through discovery and brand positioning Think really demonstrated they understood what we are trying to do achieve here, and despite multiple stakeholders, showed patience, expertise, creativity and professionalism, guiding us through the process. The end result has a tone and styling that compliments the venue perfectly.”

Siobhan Youngs, Operations Manager, The Old Fire Station

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