MORE than 211 years of brewing is officially over in Blackburn.

Thwaites has confirmed it will no longer brew beer in Penny Street after travellers laid siege to the site over the last May Bank Holiday weekend, causing more than £100,000 of damage.

As well as ransacking the offices, they also ripped out wiring in the brewery, meaning that the last pint has been pulled in Blackburn.

The police then escorted the travellers onto the M65 where they were allowed to go.

Thwaites has beefed up security at Penny Street by installing large concrete blocks at every entrance to the site.

Production will now switch to the new £12million HQ in Mellor Brook when they move in later in the summer.

A spokesman said that their offices were in a “sad state.”

The spokesman said: “Despite the amazing efforts of our team with the tidying up, it still feels like a very different place – smashed windows are boarded up, graffiti is still visible around the site, people are discovering things missing when they go to use them.

“Our head office teams are working again however, I think it would be fair to say they are looking forward to moving more than ever.

Rick Bailey, Thwaites’ chief executive, said: “It’s really upsetting that 211 years of brewing at our site in Blackburn has ended in this fashion.

“In the true spirit of Thwaites everyone has worked as hard as possible to piece the head office site back together and I’m incredibly proud of the way they all rolled up their sleeves and got on with things.

“We are now looking forward to the next chapter in our journey when we restart our brewing operations in Mellor Brook.”

The new Thwaites HQ will include offices, stables and brewery.

The brewery said that beer distribution would not be affected as they had contingency plans in place.

Chief Constable Andy Rhodes told the Lancashire Telegraph last month that he was confident those responsible for causing the damage would face justice.

He said: “I’ve been in Blackburn and spoken to the staff and they are just as hacked off as anyone else. No bobby goes into work not wanting to arrest people who do bad things.

“The Blackburn force is determined to make sure the people who carried out this criminal act pay for it.

“The arm of the law is very long and we will make arrests.”

A police spokesman said that investigations were ongoing.